Friday, February 26, 2016

Gravewurm "Doomed to Eternity" 2015 Hells Headbangers Records

What can I really say about Gravewurm that hasn't been said already? They're one of the longest-running black/death metal bands in the United States, and my home state of Ohio is proud to claim them for its own. I began my history with this band around 2002, when the Dark Souls of Hell record came out on Barbarian Wrath. So, yes, I've paid attention to them for a long time. I've become a fan over time, and I really admire that this band sticks to their guns artistically, and has not changed drastically. This album is what you would expect from Gravewurm, a heavy, plodding, occasionally thrashing piece of black/death metal the way it used to be played. It has more in common with Hellhammer and very early Sodom than it does with many bands calling themselves black metal or death metal today. This is the best record of their career, plain and simple, although the last few have been rather welcome in my playlist also. The thing that makes this album extra special for me is that it is one of the last things drummer Jim Konya recorded before he died. It was actually hard to listen to, knowing I'll not hear that signature drumming style of his again on anything new. I can only imagine how hard it is for his bandmates to deal with, knowing how much time people in bands spend around each other. I've done it. All I know is that shows in Cleveland aren't going to be the same. At least we have the great albums he has played on, including this one, because it is one of Gravewurm's best and one of Jim's best. I'm glad to have heard it and it is definitely one of the best this year so far.