Born out of a ferocious love and respect for Death’s early and face-ripping work, Gruesome, the brainchild of Exhumed’s Matt Harvey and Death To All’s Gus Rios are ready to unleash a new full-length onto the world in Twisted Prayers (Relapse). Some may wonder how they’ve stretched out so much from Death’s songbook to cover two LP and a couple of EPs, and the answer is by writing ferocious and infectious Death Metal…
Listen, Grusesome will always sound like a Tampa Death Metal band biding for some studio time at Morrisound Recording. If that’s too much for you to get over, then feel free to stop reading and or listening, but you’ll be missing out on some truly crafted metal. If the vintage sounds and occasional lyrics (“You are a piece of shit, fuck you”) get in your craw, then at least respect the musicianship. I shit you not when I say that every track on Twisted Prayers features some truly warped and shreddy solos. Harvey and Daniel Gonzalez set the fretboards ablaze on ‘Lethal Legacy,’ ‘Waste of Life’ and on the album-closing title track which can only be described as a tapping buffet.
The wrist-spraining leads are all over ‘Fatal Illusions’ which also sets aside some room for the mosh with staccato guitar chugs that move in sync with Rios’ kickdrums. Even you need more of the brutal stuff, then make sure to get worked over by the hammering ‘Crusade of Brutality’ which is also clogged with Rios’ footwork.
If I have one real complaint is that I would’ve liked to hear more of the low-end in the mix. When given the space, Robin Mazen’s bass gurgles and rumbles in all the right ways for death metal. Perhaps some fretless bass in future releases as an homage to Steve DiGiorgio?
Skip out on it if you must, but this is some mighty fine Death Metal.