38 C

Gruesome – Savage Land


Last Updated on 03:52 AM by Giorgos Tsekas

Genre: Death Metal
Label: Relapse Records
Country: U.S.A.
Year: 2015

I’m writing this review on the eve of Chuck’s birthday (May the 13th 1967) listening to a tribute album; to him and to “Scream Bloody Gore/Leprosy” albums. Since the beginning and up until the end, it reminds the glorious beginning of the aforementioned legend. The band logo is also heavily influenced by that of Death and as far as the cover art is concerned, it couldn’t have been designed by anyone else than the great Repka. Another masterpiece from the master.

The band was formed in 2014 by Matt Harvey (guitars/vocals – Exhumed) and Gus Rios (drummer, ex-Malevolent Creation) when they were on tour, as members of other bands during the Death to All tour. They kept in touch as they shared the same obsession and love for the early era of Death. Then, they decided to form a band that would resurrect the spirit of Death during their first-two-albums era. Harvey told Rios that he had composed some tracks on that mood. Rios completed the line-up by adding Daniel Gonzalez (guitars, Possessed) and Robin Mazen (Bass Guitars, Derketa) to the band. They all recorded the already composed material in Florida, as Harvey was recording his parts in California. Thus, the album was recorded by Rios and Gonzalez at Riversound Studios in Fort Lauderdale and the mixing was done by Jarrett Pritchard at Mana Studios, in St. Petersburg of Florida.

I wouldn’t call it cheap work; it’s a sheer resurrection of the early Death, while giving respect to the late leader of an entire scene. In some parts, the riffs remind those of Death, but I don’t think it’s on purpose. After all, the musical direction of the band was made clear since the beginning. Since Death exists no more (yet DTA do) most of us would like a band to continue their legacy; either that of the early albums or the latter, ones since these fans exist too.

Nothing less, nothing more. Death Metal from Florida in its purest form with the vocals of Harvey reminding Chuck as hell. The band doesn’t like being unpredictable and “new” and do not cross the margins defined by “Scream Bloody Gore” and “Leprosy”. You either love them or you ignore them; you can’t hate them in any way. After all, James Murphy wouldn’t accept being a guest during the solo of “Closed Casket” if he thought the band was hubris to Death. The album is a celebration to the sound that influenced an entire scene and Gruesome came to keep that sound alive as they are focused and loyal to it. They’re here to resurrect it.

The album contains eight tracks and covers of “Land of No Return” (what do you mean by whom?) and “Black Magic” (don’t ask by whom again) which is compared to that of Hypocrisy. Defamation…

«No hope of recovery after the nerves are eaten away
Damage is done you feel no more pain
Bones decay deterioration grows
Origin of this horrid disease nobody knows»


Giorgos Athanasiou
Giorgos Athanasiou
I love you, I love you more than Jesus!

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