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'Morbid Black Oath' EP
(Xtreem Music)

jools green

Jools Green


'Morbid Black Oath', the debut EP from Hungarian death Metal quintet Gravecrusher, caught my ear right from the opening drum work. Their sound has such an attention grabbing quality.

It's a mix of Swedish death Metal, like Grave and Entombed with hints of Finnish brutality, along the lines of early Sentenced and Convulse, but with their own slant on the mix. The result is intensely catchy and rammed with riffs that stick in your mind.

The EP is a very generous release at seven tracks and twenty-three minutes. I have known bands who have released shorter full lengths than that, although admittedly the final three tracks are bonus tracks originally featured on their 'Mutilation Ritual' demo.

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Aside from the catchy riffs, the drum work I thought was pretty good also, powerful, varied and very precise and the vocals, whilst not overly stretched in their intonation, are good, manifesting as deep, gravelly gutturals that are just legible.

The track construction is good; your attention is kept throughout with varied tempo and direction switching, with something in every track that catches your ear. The opening track, 'Triumph Of The Undead', being a perfect example of this, completed with catchy riffs.

'Necromantic Perversion' opens with a "diabolical tri-tone", which is always a good start, expanding into an intense track of pummelling proportions. There's a slight Death tribute to the guitar work during the later part drop-away, followed by a squealing thrash solo.

'Morbid Black Oath' has an intense, galloping Swedish feel to it, varied with a dark drop-away in the first half just before midway and crazy thrash guitar segment towards the close.

'Worship The Impaler' has an excellent groove, catchy repeat riffs and add to this the superbly tight drum work, the well placed tempo and direction change and the slightly slower, more controlled and precise approach, together making it my favourite track of the EP.

'Mutilation Ritual' is a compact track at less than two minutes, which is good because you don't have long to wait long for the excellent, thrashy, overkill guitar work to the close. And if you enjoy that there is another at the end of the next track, 'Deranged Massacre'.

The final track 'Cryptic Butchery', another favourite with me, is carried along on a d-beat and a simple yet effective pulsating riff for the first part. The pace picks up at the arrival of the first solo, dropping away to a slower darker pace towards the close garnished with more if those thrashy guitars.

Recorded at Black Hole Sound Studio, the thing that struck me most of all about 'Morbid Black Oath' is that it just such an enjoyable listen, intense yet bouncy, a sound that just carries you along with it and you can't ask much more than that from an EP.

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