Stefano Fiori – Vocals
Eric Righi – Guitars,
Thomas Orgler – Guitars
Sabine Mair – Keys
Harold Klenk – Bass
Martin Innerbichler – Drums
Originating from Bruneck, Italy, Graveworm formed in 1992.They can be best described as a combination between many style of the harder side of metal; Black metal, Death Metal and Gothic Metal (with the characteristic keyboards and fantasy undertones).
Vengeance Is Sworn – Upon first listen to the opening track of Gravemworm’s Diabolical Figures, my first thoughts are that the mixing is very close sounding than a lot of heavy albums out right now. There’s still plenty of ambiance to make the song somewhat aired out, but with the close nature of the tracking, each instrument sounds very clean and crunchy. The vocals are slightly more melodic death metal style, and instead of being sort of whispery, Stefano seems to be pushing more air into his performance, so his growls don’t sound weak—they are way more guttural and loud.
Circus Of The Damned – Ah yes, I love the waltz-y beat of this track. Its very dramatic and of course..circus-y. What bothers me though, is that it sounds like there is a tremolo effect during the verses while the Martin is beating the hell out of those double drums. That may be because of the extreme amount of compression squashing the dynamics, which to me is not such a great thing. Overall though, the track is heavy as hell and the riffs are interesting enough yet simple enough to hold your attention. Love the despairing symphonic passages in the breakdown that create a real sense of sorrow.
Diabolic Figures – The drums sounds absolutely great in this track. I’m not a big fan of the piano parts, but its serves its purpose very well. I just think it’s a TAD cheesy, given its placement. Of course it always good to add extra instrumentation to evoke different textures sonically, but one must be careful where they go and not use those techniques arbitrarily. I must say, Death Metal vocals never interested me, but Stefano really pulls me in with his version of them. I think more than anything that sticks out is that the bass guitar is not very present at all among the instruments, which pains me..it’d make the song more punchy. Still, it’s all good.
Hell’s Creation – I have to say, this is my least favorite song on the album; the keyboard embellishments in the chorus agitate me to a degree– they simply just don’t fit. About 2 minutes into the song thing get a little more interesting, that’s some of the tightest double bass drumming I’ve heard thus far, its pretty damn incredible. But like the previous track the compression is just too extreme and it squashes some of the dynamics. Now that I think of though, this song actually reminds me of one of my favorite bands back in the day, Iced Earth. I mean this is slightly more devilish, but musically they are on the same plain, and you can tell their minds were on the same level of creative energy.
Forlorn Hope – AH! A change in the system! I love love love the clean guitar in the opening, the string are kind of cheesy but everything sounds fantastic. Once the band kicks in and starts rockin out, they get more melodic, more grooving than anything else on the album. This track is definitely above the rest in terms of accessibility. It also a lot more dramatic and real, you can hear a soul, a human energy emanating out of nearly every poor, every part of Forlorn Hope. The distorted guitars are a bit more nasally and aren’t as tight as other songs, but they serve more purpose in this track. 7 strings galore!
New Disorder – Absolutely chaotic, but in a good way. The guitars are heavy and thick toned, the drums are as usual very lock step and the vocals are as satanic as it gets. Those pianos though…I still can’t see the point in parts of it, the song really doesn’t need them because it’s good enough as it is. What I like about songs like this is that it can’t go to far away from what it is, so they keep it fairly short and sweet. I always respect that kind of restraint from trying to make it a 10 minute epic. They do more ‘epic’ in 3 minutes than other do in 14.
Architects of Hate – The opening riff pretty standard heavy death metal. I swear I hear this riff on youtube about 20 times a day. Take that for what it is, it can be a GREAT thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. The chorus groove kicks ass, I dig it. This song makes me miss my old 7 string guitar actually, which got sent to a pawn shop with the porn on it and everything! Haha, fuck. I definitely want to jam out to Architects if I ever get another 7 string there’s tons of cool shit present here my friends.
Message In A Bottle – WHAT?! A Death Metal version of Sting song?! That IS fucking nuts. What’s even funnier is how good it is! I wasn’t expecting this to be done in any sort of decent fashion. I loved the original, and this one is as good as the original if you’re looking at it from a metalhead’s perspective. Its got all the original licks in there, and the fact that its being done with down-tuned instruments actually brings out something extra about what made Sting’s version so cool. My only question is where this song fits in the mix of the album as a whole? It’s always interesting to find out how everything is supposed to sit among the other songs, the arrangements. Who knows I guess? I’m totally thrown back by this cover, its way left field and definitely gets a thumbs up for throwing something new in there.
Ignorance of Gods – Makes you wonder doesn’t it? You wonder if they hear you, out of all the craziness of just being alive. You wonder what makes us kill, steal, and whatever other vice and why no one is there to stop the fucking sadness. Fuck it though, a little destruction is a good thing especially when you’re listening to someone personifying it through little black dots on a sheets of paper..with guitars and drums and serious ‘balls out attitude. The thump of the bass drums is uncanny, turn this track up loud and make sure your speaker have enough low end to take the pressure. The song crushes and stampedes with the utmost force. The final double bass flurry has to EASILY be the fastest double bass I’ve ever heard. Its impossible to be that fucking good.
The Reckoning – Here we are, at the end, and thus far I’m impressed. Actually it sounds like it should have been on a soundtrack to one of Jim Henson’s film in the 80’s such as the Dark Crystal or Labyrinth. God that chick was smokin’ in that film.Why do I keep forgetting her name?! I know it every other day of the week, so why now I fucking forget. Gr Anyways, for the last song in the album it’s very short and contains no vocals, which in reality I like, it’s the most cohesive of the set list. And connects more with me than anything else, its got a true fantasy vibe, its not as canned as I am used to hearing it. Its very pristine and clear, and for once the keyboard patches are spot on with the rest of the song! Completely satisfactory final track.