Grave
Endless Procession of Souls

How do I love thee Grave? Let me count the ways. It is the heart and soul of demonic growler, guitarist, and sole original member Ola Lindgren and the way he keeps the machine running in such a well-oiled manner. It is the rottenness and sheer weight of those riffs, the ugly enormousness of the grooves, and the omnipresent stench of evil. Don’t get me wrong; I too love the other members of the Swedish Big 4 (Entombed, Unleashed, and Dismember), but Grave is the band I return to again and again. In other words, Grave is one of “my bands.” And let me tell you, there is nothing about Endless Procession of Souls that has changed my mind about Grave’s inclusion in that elite group. In fact, the album is so good that it has made me appreciate the filthy beast even more.

I’ll even go so far as to say that it is one of the best albums Grave has ever released. The grotesque grooves and putrid pummeling more often than not are delivered at breakneck speeds. Just as engrossing though is when the pace slows to make way for some fantastic grooves and Autopsy-esque journeys into dread. On the groovy end of the spectrum, the cases in point are numerous, not the least of which include the mid-paced parts of “Encountering the Divine,” the down-tempo moments of “Disembodied Steps” and the chorus of “Passion of the Weak” (one of the more memorable cuts). In other words, the speeding-romp-to-grinding-groove change up factor here cannot be overstated. It is only iniquitous closer “Epos” on which the band never floors it, opting instead for a sickening plod, which moves past the mid-tempo point. As it turns out, the seven-and-a-half minute cut is one of the album’s finest moments, not unlike how Grave wrapped up Dominion VIII with “8th Dominion.”

The fact is that everything Grave has done so well over the years has been poured into Endless Procession of Souls. Any comparison to the youthful primitivism of all-time-classic Into the Grave is a meaningless exercise (and has been for years now); you just don’t reproduce that sort of thing. Instead, what is vital to note here is that Grave doesn’t just locate the sweet spot; it stomps the ever living shit out of it! Endless Procession of Souls again finds Grave tromping about in all that grit ‘n gristle and showing the youngsters what effective tempo and riff variation is all about. Don’t forget about Ola either. When you add Lindgren’s malevolent death-roar into this mix, you end up with straight-A marks and 90th percentile placement.

Endless Procession of Souls is pure Grave magnificence. I’m not prepared to say it is Grave’s finest moment, especially considering the existence of personal favorites like As Rapture Comes, Dominion VIII, and yes, Into the Grave. It is however right up there with those albums. One thing is for certain; Endless Procession of Souls is guaranteed to be included in my 2012 top-10 list, if not the top-5. Ain’t love grand?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
September 12th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: Staylow

    This is the best Grave album in years. I’d go as far as to say since Hating Life – a great, underrated album that usually gets the shaft. Absolutely fantastic.


  2. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Mini-review: Best Grave album without Jörgen Sandström. A must-buy if you enjoy that fuzzy, warm feeling one gets when hearing those buzzsaw guitar riffs only the Stockholm sound bands can provide.


  3. Commented by: Guilliame

    Dis is one heck of some review.
    Right On!


  4. Commented by: Brutalicon

    I want to check this out, I have everything else and Grave is a classic band. Still relevant and good at what they do. However, not to pick a fight, or maybe… :)

    Hating life is a stinky turd. That is the one album in their discography that is not good in any way. I think if it was a hardcore band, it would have been passing, but doubtful. The fact it was Grave that put it out is probably why it really turned me off.


  5. Commented by: Staylow

    Different strokes for different folks. I think Hating Life is absolutely awesome, and I know another writer on this site who would definitely agree with me on that. That album unjustly gets the shaft at every turn. That’s not to say this new one sounds anything like it, just that to me, personally, this one is the best thing they’ve done since then.


  6. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Solid stuff best in a while as they seem to be in a bit of a rut with the last couple of albums. yup- i love me some Hating Life.


  7. Commented by: gordeth

    I’m looking forward to getting this. I haven’t kept up with all of their post-’90s material, but the few tracks I heard from this sounded great. In regard to the Hating Life comments, I think it’s a good groove thrash album, but not a good Grave album.


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