Pulverised Records is the current home to the likes of IMPIETY, MASTER, and GRAVE DESECRATOR. The label has been churning out some excellent albums and is also the home to Spain’s GRAVEYARD. It has been well over 2 years since GRAVEYARD’s debut album One With The Dead was spawned upon the masses, so when I heard that they had released some new material I was hoping for a new album. Well as the old saying goes, “Beggars can’t be choosers” and we have an appetizer in the form of an EP entitled The Altar Of Sculpted Skulls. Running at just over 23 minutes, we get a total of 6 tracks: 2 of which are re-recorded songs and 4 new slabs of old school Death Metal. The artwork on the album is your classic black/white album cover with skulls galore on an altar with DEATH looking over which looks wicked as hell.
The self titled “The Altar of Sculpted Skulls” pays homage to the old ENTOMBED/DISMEMBER albums. Crunchy, heavy, and fast is how the track comes out. It has your head banging while maintaining its symmetry of musical instruments. The vocals are guttural and evil and the guitars provide the foundation for the sickness to spread. “An Epitaph Written In Blood” starts out with a ghostly guitar riff that brings out the eeriness that is about to be summoned forth. The drums slowly enter the fray and begin to set up the melodic backbone that proceeds. The track is slower paced than the previous, but the songwriting is very exceptional as the band shows the listener what they bring to the table. The tempo quickly picks up and you would think you were checking out ENTOMBED’s Lefthand Path!
The crowning jewel of new material on this EP has to be “Deathcrowned”. You get it for the price of admission on this track. All the elements align on this track perfectly and provide an epic experience. “Cult of The Shadows” is a doom-filled instrumental track that highlights the guitar work. Sound effects of wind give the song that spooky-rise-from-the-grave atmosphere. The last two rituals are re-recordings from previously released material. “Ritual” and “Howl of the Black Death” are both updated and provide the fascinating end pieces to this EP.
You can expect copious amounts of old school Death Metal ala Swedish Death Metal on this EP. GRAVEYARD is showing that they can carry the torch while providing the homage to the bands of yester year. The style maybe old but the songs are new and fresh. Interestingly enough will be when the next new full length will be released by these guys. In the mean time, crank out a case of your favorite beer and jam out to some GRAVEYARD.