Grave – “Venial Sin” (Stereogum Premiere)
Grave may as well be eternal at this point. 29 years into a career playing Swedish fucking death metal, they’re either undead or just unkillable, showing no signs of diminishing in terms of power or perseverance. One of the originals of the Swedish metal scene alongside Entombed, Dismember, and Unleashed, what makes Grave remarkable in 2013 is that they still release vital, vitriolic shit with unnatural frequency. Last year’s full-length Endless Procession Of Souls was more than a return to form — it’s actually one of my favorite death metal albums ever, right alongside the band’s debut, Into The Grave, released some 20 years earlier. Bands this old should not be this good — it’s a wondrous thing when they are. “Venial Sin,” the first track off Grave’s latest EP, Morbid Ascent, gives us Grave at their best: primitive, pounding death charges headfirst into doom territory, slowing to a crawl while the riffs keep on ripping. Meanwhile singer/guitarist/testament-to-unclean-living Ola Lindgren proves he can out-bellow just about everyone as he spits out some especially scathing (and discomfiting) lines about priests and their less-than-holy proclivities. Listen.
Morbid Ascent is out 9/17 via Century Media.