Minneapolis death metallers Graveslave unleash their debut album Sick/Nasty and the album is not only suitably named due to its savage sonic assault and lyrical topics (the album is about a deranged killer detailing his murderous spree) but is also the best death debut album in some time. The band take no prisoners with their precise brand of death metal and demonstrate a mixture of technical flair and downright raw brutality.
Sick/Nasty kicks off with the slow and threatening Partially Reassembled, In Utter Disgust which features an early riff that could have easily fitted in on Slayers South Of Heaven before upping the ante in terms of cold bloodedness and the song bulldozes its way through, with vocalist Doombringers formidable growl taking center stage on a song that also features guest vocals from Cryotopsy man Matt McGachy.
The berserk Human Fluids (ooze) follows and shows a faster and even heavier side to Graveslave while Slit Throats and Garrote is a prime slab of unhinged death, complete with an instrumental midsection that shows off the technical abilities of the band in stunning form and this segues into the pummeling Methods Of Murder before the instrumental Flesh Elegy shows off the bands technical chops again on a track that is melodic and heavy at the sam time. This track acts as a way of getting your breath back as you marvel at its technicality before the violent and bloodthirsty metal starts up again with the vicious and epic closing track Wallow In Filth.
This eight minute gargantuan tune starts off with a melodic but threatening intro before all hell breaks loose and the results are impressively savage with an almost cinematic horror feel (the use of some killer sound effects of power tools are used to maximum effect) and show what a completely powerful band they are, like all the great death metal bands, it’s not just about the brutality although obviously that is the biggest and best part of it but these guys are also gifted at crafting memorable songs which is a gift, especially when it as good as Wallow In Filth which is ferocious but also as accessible as death metal gets.
Like Cryptopsy, Nile and Broken Hope before them, Graveslave are definitely doing some creative things with their brand of death metal and with a debut album as assured as a Sick/Nasty is, then the band will certainly have a bright future ahead of them and their second album will be eagerly anticipated indeed.