Alabama death squad Grave Ritual have returned after five years to unleash their second album, ‘Morbid Throne’, nine tracks of rumbling death metal heaviness. You’re looking at raw, early death metal dripping with deadly atmosphere, out on the 30th of October through Dark Descent Records.
‘Baleful Aversion’ brings a primitive, Autopsy-esque sludge to it, with a curshing low end and a thick, murky atmosphere. There’s a relentless, grimy fury to songs like ‘Autonomous Death’. Grave Ritual are dense, uncompromising and uninterested in being the fastest, most technical or the most original. What Grave Ritual do is bring the best in choking death riffs, and power it with a thick rhythm section to create maximum destruction. ‘Invoker of Heathen Gnosis’ steamrollers through the competition, an unstoppable juggernaut of heaviness.
The cruishing battering of ‘Tyrant’s Hammer’, which has a grinding Incantation-esque midsection, is a particular highlight in an album where it’s difficult to pick just one. Like the clawing hands of the undead, Grave Ritual write music that gets under your skin and infects you. ‘Morbid Throne’ is a draining record that demands repeated listens to ensure you fully appreciate each rotten riff and each demonic growl.
‘Morbid Throne’ is one of the better old school death metal records I’ve come across this year. The sheer brutality on offer here, coupled with an authentic execution of solid, early 90s style death metal, makes Grave Ritual a winner in my book. This is the kind of rotting fetid extremity that I love, and I think ‘Morbid Throne’ will be considered to be a lynchpin in years to come.