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Grave | As Rapture Comes | review | metal | Lollipop


As Rapture Comes (Century Media)
by Tim Den

By now, any self-respecting death metal fan should know what to expect from Swedish pioneers Grave, which is both good and bad. While the band have never veered too far from their old school death groove roots, their last full-length, Fiendish Regression, showed signs of weakness previously unnoticed. Had the audience gotten tired of the same ol' grind-and-stomp? Or were Grave simply out of fresh ideas? On As Rapture Comes, the quartet ups the anger ante, adding a handful of honest to god blastbeats to the repertoire in an effort to liven things up. For the most part, it works: "Unholy Terror," "By Demons Bred," and "Epic Obliteration" rank as some of the band's most pissed off entries ever, and the swaying crunch of "Battle of Eden" contributes respite, just when you're worn out from the head-on death metal collision. However, even after several spins, none of the songs stick with you. The riffs feel interchangeable - the biggest "no no" in death metal - a fact even less forgivable if you consider the originality and memorability of Hating Life. Grave have shown in the past that they're capable of manipulating brutality into provocative breakdowns and ghastly hooks, so why is As Rapture Comes missing that extra something to become essential?


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