Dennis : Gravestone actually is quite a cool name for a death metal band. I bet that’s exactly what these four young Swedes from Växjö thought when they started their band in 2013. On my search for more Gravestone music besides this album I also found a German band called Gravestone, who played heavy metal in the late seventies, early eighties and released some really (now) cult albums. Funny what you find on Spotify sometimes.
But anyhow, let’s talk about this record. 'Sickening' is the debut album of this old school Swedish death metal band in which we also find Entrails guitarist Penki Samuelsson. The old school death metal Gravestone logo and the two HM-2 distortion pedals shown on the bands website already give us a hint at what Gravestone is all about. And honestly, after hearing the first tunes of the opening track 'Tombthrasher' I was immediately sold! My hand went straight to the volume knob to give it a swift turn to the right. Old school death metal in vein of Grave, Dismember, Entombed and Autopsy, heavy distorted metal riffs, with crusty and punishing drum rhythms, catchy melodies and raw, yet understandable death grunts that will make you shout along after hearing this record a couple of times. Holy shit this piece of music kills. Tracks like 'Behead The Bastard', 'Fucking Your Corpse in Hell' and the almost epic 'By The Knife' will absolutely make every death metal fan bang their heads like a maniac. The whole record sounds so familiar and sure it is not the most original piece of music that we get from Gravestone (it reminds me of Bloodbath all the time), but the band plays their music in a very convincing way, with killer riffs, catchy tunes, strong material and a fat sounding production (mixing and mastering was done by Penki Samuelsson himself), so there is nothing to complain about. 'Sickening' is a killer debut and Gravestone a death metal force to be reckoned with. I hope we will get to hear a lot more from these guys!