On this split 7”, released by Germany’s great underground label Lycanthropic Chants, Swedish Bastard Grave and Graveyard Ghoul from Germany team up for some Old School Death Metal. Expect nothing but 9 minutes of uncomplicated Death Metal.
Bastard Grave kicks off with ‘Screen Of Death’, which offers the same kind of Death Metal that we were presented with on both of their previous full-length albums. A sort of Death Metal that has a certain Swedish edge to it, but doesn’t come as the next Entombed stand-in. Instead Bastard Grave blends in some classic Dutch Death Metal and even a bit of early British Death Metal too, making it appealing to fans of either Sinister, Benediction or Grave – but most likely, these are the same people anyway. Yet, compared to those earlier recordings the band sounds more raw and subsequently even more stripped down. I am not sure whether that would work on a full-length record, but for such split EP projects, I just love those rawer sounds, giving it a true energetic and authentic feel.
Graveyard Ghoul takes care of the flipside of this 7” EP. Admittedly, I never really got much into this band, I know, a damning argument, but the lacklustre artwork of albums like ‘The Living Cemetery’ have always deterred me. I’ve heard the occasional song, but I’ve always kind of ignored it. Based on these songs, surely that was unjustified, on this split 7″ EP they are the better of the two. Their Autopsy-ridden brand of Death Metal works just fine and unlike many other, their take on it is just as dynamic as the American masters of filth and gore. I certainly love the peculiar reverbed vocal burst at the end of the song. Before writing this review I have taken a quick dive into their back catalogue, but I will certainly give them a closer look and I will not ignore them any longer. Promised.