Grave

Dominion VIII

Regain Records 2007

Grave has always been one of my favorites from the Stockholm scene, shunning basically all melody and concentrating on heavy and morbid grooves to carry their distinctive sound forward like a rusty bulldozer.  Their debut album, Into the Grave, had a huge impact on me and here, on their eighth album, very little has changed.  I hear many echoes of Grave's early career within the notes on Dominion VIII.  Most notably I hear strong comparisons to You'll Never See especially on tracks like Fallen Angel Son, Annihilated God, and Dark Signs.  One thing I have always loved about Grave's trademark sound is not only is it brutal but it is also shrouded in a sense of gloom.  Their use of slow and thick riffs evokes a musical association of damp graveyard rotting as evidenced by the initial passages of Stained By Hate before the band gallops off at a tempestuous pace.  Speed is an effective weapon in Grave's arsenal as well.  Just listen to Sinners Lust and its relentless bludgeoning of the drumkit.  They however, once again counterpoint that speed with some intensely grotesque and rotten slow riffs that reek of putrid decay.  8th Dominion brings the album to a creative climax as it continually builds in energy and violence throughout its seven and a half minute length.  Songwriting is one aspect that has obviously been a focus of Grave on this album as each song is carefully crafted for maximum hatred and a morbid atmosphere.  Along with countrymates Unleashed, Grave have resurrected some of the former glory and magic that made the Stockholm sound so special.  Dominion VIII is probably Grave's strongest effort since their pinnacle achievement of You'll Never See.  Kill, Kill, KILL!!!!!!!!