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Coffins / Gravavgrav – A Tribute To Grave [Split]

coffins / gravavgrav – a tribute to grave [split]


For the revered Japenese Death Metal band Coffins is this split 7” EP the latest chapter in a long tradition of splitting EP’s, this time around they share this piece of vinyl (available in both blue and yellow vinyl) with their country mates Gravavgrav. While Gravavgrav might ring fewer bells than Coffins, this band too has a steady working pace; having been found in 2021 the band already released over a dozen of short players and live recordings. Therefore the fact that both of these Japanese entities would eventually be teaming up was not much of a surprise. And, with a title like this, no-one is wondering what they will be served with either…

Indeed, both bands are showing their appreciation for Grave. Everyone who have at least heard some of the many previous recordings of Coffins already noticed their admiration of the Swedes, but on this split 7” EP they have put that into the recording of ‘Hating Life’, which originally appeared on the 1996 record with the same name. While the Coffins version doesn’t sound all too different from the original, albeit a bit heavier in both guitar tone and vocal delivery (the Coffins fashion), to me it is mainly the choice of the song that brings a smile to my face. Not that this really is amongst my favourite Grave tracks, but at least it is something far from the trodden paths of the most obvious choices. Just as Coffins has a long tradition in releasing split EP’s, so do they have with recording covers, this one just fits in like a glove.

The flipside is for the relative newcomers of Gravavgrav, a band that I ran into through their split 7” EP with Swedish Bastard Grave, but have learned to appreciate a lot since then. Their Death Metal is pretty much in line with Coffins, but where their compatriots have somewhat polished their sound in the last 15 years or so, Gravavgrav sounds crude and raw – pretty much like Coffins did when they started to release their first recordings. Unfortunately, the band chose a bit more of a safe route with a medley of sorts comprising of the classics ‘You’ll Never See…’ and ‘Into The Grave’, but due to their way rawer approach and the addition of some pitch-shifted vocals, their take on the two songs work splendidly.

One could argue about the added value of a split EP with only covers, it does deliver what you could expect from it. Both bands pay tribute to the Swedish giant, but for the most part keep their own sound, so it doesn’t feel all too cheap. Whether or not to spend your hard-earned money on it, is up to you of course, but Lycanthropic Chants, maintaining their underground mentality, at least has kept the price reasonably low.


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