Gruesome – Dimensions of Horror (Relapse)

Thursday, 12th May 2016
Rating: 7.5/10

Returning hot off the heels of the ear-pleasing retro-death carnage of Savage Land, Gruesome toss fans a bone with a new EP, Dimensions of Horror. The band’s unabashed worship of Death (and acknowledgement of such) does tend to fuel the fire, and their loving treatment of the material is nothing less than genuine and authentic. Gruesome isn’t trying to sell you into thinking that they have cornered the market on something new, but revel in the past and all it’s glory.

That pure old-school worship is what tends to put Gruesome ahead of a number of their retro contemporaries. The sound, the artwork, the lyrics – it all is joyously recreating what was. But let’s face it, everyone is getting on board the retro bandwagon. The key to Gruesome is how much sheer fun and joy there is when you give their music a listen. There’s a level of playfulness to a track like “Raped By Darkness” – the ripping solo, the relentless pacing, and thrash-along riffs – that other like-minded acts fail to capture. The groovy opening of “Amputation” is also a fine example of how the band has really delved into what makes the genre work, even if they are aping it, and providing a fresh energy that inspires, as opposed to the feeling of “been there, done that.” The riffs are as deadly and catchy as necessary, from start to finish, with no track really coming off as a misfire.

Sure, Gruesome still revels in Death worship – but it’s good Death worship. Just like their previous release, Dimensions of Horror makes the usual retro-death metal vicious and energetic. It may not be original, but there’s no doubt that you are going to enjoy each listen.

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