Grand Cadaver – Deities of Deathlike Sleep (Majestic Mountain Records)Wednesday, 23rd August 2023
Amidst the renewed appeal of old school death metal, there are musicians who were a part of the original movement willing to rekindle that youthful passion for the cause again. That’s what we have here for the Swedish quintet Grand Cadaver – as four of the five members have ties past or present to Katatonia, Tiamat, and Dark Tranquillity among others. For this second album Deities of Deathlike Sleep, the framework is rather simple – record ten tracks of fierce death metal with the attitude, tones, and seasoning that references those early Sunlight Studios days.
Feel the filth and squeeze out the savage HM-2 driven guitars as you prepare to be flattened by the sheer heaviness of the primitive, raw sonic assault put before you song after song. The deeper roar Mikael Stanne accesses come from that tape trading spirit when Nihilist, Grave, and others obliterated the underground, the extra reverb aspects giving “Serrated Jaws” and “True Necrogeny” conjuring diabolical sequences that mirror the riff/ rhythm parade. Going off to the depths of darkness “Necrosanctum” revels in crushing, low-tuned rhythms as well as groove to double kick pounding measures from drummer Daniel Liljekvist that manages to raise fists as easily as hurtle bodies in pit-swirling madness. The piano touches around the 2:54 mark end up building this monstrous, electric momentum for a fitting conclusion to the record. Favorites change daily – the straight ahead buzzsaw-oriented “The Forever Doom” containing the right blasting/tremolo-oriented sections to captivate against the controlled chorus as well as doom to d-beat transformational “Funeral Reversal” two aural pleasers to this scribe’s ears.
Admittedly these musicians understand the uphill climb in appeal – as many will say that no current act can penetrate the landscape compared to classics like Left Hand Path, Into the Grave, or Like An Everflowing Stream. But for what it’s worth, Grand Cadaver possess the right tools, spirit, attitude, and abilities through Deities of Deathlike Sleep to come pretty damn close to that Swedish OSDM style that many young and old still adore.