Chords of the Grave


Looking for some good death metal? I'm mean real death metal. Well, look no further. All the songs on this release were originally on hard-to-find cassette demos, but now all have been resurrected thanks to Alan Tregoning of Blastbeats. The five bands included here are Obliteration (4 songs), Evisceration (3), Disencumbrance (3), Oblation (4), and Flesh Walker (1). If you are sick of some of the lame death metal out there this release should make you do cartwheels. Unfortunately, all of the bands have long since disbanded. However, don't think that this sounds like a bunch of out-dated metal, cause it rocks just as good now as it did back in the day. Obliteration starts off the disc with 4 blazing tracks of furious and ultra-heavy death metal. This band changed it's name later after this recording to Deathlist and recorded an okay release called "Severed". These four songs kick the stuff from Deathlist. The vocals are much harsher and the songs themselves are just plain better. It does sound like they may be using some triggers for the double bass on the drums, but other than that this stuff sounds really good. The songs are all fairly similar in sound and quality, so I'll refrain from picking a best song.

Evisceration is next and is the weakest band on the CD. They are not horrible, but nothing all that impressive. The guitarists are the same guys from Obliteration so you know it's gonna be heavy. Unfortunately, the vocals, production, and average songs keep me from being too excited here. The biggest annoyance is the really high pitched leads. Again, I'll refrain from a best song pick as all three songs are pretty much the same in quality.

Now you're probably saying to yourself, "I thought he said this was an awesome release and here he is dogging one of the bands?" Well, my friends the third band Disencumbrance more than makes up for anything Evisceration was lacking in. This is one of the best death metal bands Christian music has ever known. You've got to buy this disc if just to hear these three amazing tracks. Lightening fast riffing, insane blastbeats throughout (which is something lacking in a lot of Christian death metal), and some wicked vocals. Mixing between deathly growls and blackish shrieks and lyrics about Satanism, this bands will scare off anyone not into this style of music. This bands just freakin' rules. The drumming just really floors me and the heavy as a ton of bricks guitars make me want to throw and break things as I listen to this. All 3 songs are excellent, but "Dimensions of Reality" and "Suicide" excite me the most.

Fourth on the disc, but number 2 in quality is Oblation. Oblation is blessed with the talents of Billy Fraser of Discern on drums, Alan Tregoning of Blastbeats on bass, and not to mention Mitch Reese and Mike Rizzo who lay down some lethal guitar tracks and great death vocals. The musicianship of this band is really good and they follow their fellow CD mates with some amazing death metal. They'll speed it up on you or slow it down on a track like "Dead Unborn". Best songs here would be "Obliteration Conceived" and "Reeking Impurities".

Last up is a live track from the Australian band Flesh Walker. This is just some average death metal with some sorry production. Nothing to get too excited about.

Overall, I'd say that if you are a fan of death metal than this is a must have. Kudos to Blastbeats for making this release possible. Over 66 minutes of insane music for $10 is a steal of a deal. If nothing else, you gotta hear the Disencumbrance tracks. Great, great release!!  (Review by Matt)