Graveworm – “Ascending Hate” (AFM Records)
I’m not really sure why people call this Italian band ‘gothic’ or even ‘dark metal’ as while there may be hints of those elements in the tracks on “Ascending Hate”, to all intents and purposes they are a melodic death metal band definitely influenced by the sound of mid 90s Gothenburg. With a mixture of hoarse death like vocals that occasionally scream from Stefano Fiori, its the dual driving guitars Eric Righi and Stefan Unterpertinger that bring both brutality but also beautiful melodies to songs like ‘To The Empire Of Madness’, ‘Liars To The Lions’ and ‘Rise Again’. With Florian Reiner’s bass and Martin Innerbichler’s drums providing a heavy duty rhythm comfortable in both blast beating or just smashing away mid tempo, their brutality is suavely contrasted by some subtle black keyboards a la Cradle Of Filth. Graveworm have been going for over 20 years and “Ascending Hate” is their 9th album, yet they may not spring to the immediate mind of many as amazingly, these guys are not a full time band! Still, they do get about – all the way from Taiwan to Tunisia it would seem on their tours – so clearly there are many out there who do indeed appreciate Graveworm’s music and all the fun that goes with it – not to mention the band themselves!