Vera : It is unbelievable how the Italian band Graveworm remains so recognizable and of the same high level quality in spite of constant line-up changes, but on the other hand they deserve more popularity than they have now. Early 2005 I urgently suggested that every fan of melodic black metal should purchase '(N)Utopia', but a few months later I experienced that the band did not cause any big fuzz live. That's a pity, but the good news is that they do not lose courage and they did attain something since 2005, like a tour in the States and manifold touring in Europe.
Now the sixth studio album 'Collateral Defect' is about to release and this one offers us again a number of harsh, yet accessible compositions, which not only brim with multilateral, ultra rough vocals of Stefano Fiori, but include magnificent guitar skills and layered keyboards as well. This time it all starts with an obscure, industrial-like intro. But there we have that gorgeous scream of Stefano piercing you to the very marrow! And here we go. Solid black metal with an eye for melody and though any references with Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth are obvious, it surely has an own identity. 'Bloodwork', 'Touch Of Hate' and 'Suicide Code' hold on to a proper speed, but from 'The Day I Die' on, Graveworm brings more diversity in the songs. For instance by a fine atmospheric part at the end of 'The Day I Die'. Or with a short violin intermezzo and a marvellous sonorous guitar solo in 'Fragile Side' which showcases an even wider spectrum of diverse vocals. This is due to guest appearances of Maurizio Iacono of Kataklysm and Matze of The Sorrow. This interaction reminds me of Scar Symmetry in 'Fragile Side', but it has also some vocal-lines close to hardcore. Do you know what struck me vocal-wise? Because of the alternation of black metal screams and low grunts, these Italians are suggestive of Thurisaz. And it is also due to the empathic presence of keyboards in their usually extreme heavy music.
In the past Graveworm surprised us with extraordinary covers. They play pop songs in their own version and every time they come up with something exciting. Now again, with 'I Need A Hero' of Bonnie Tyler. Do not laugh with it, for I did not recognized it the first time, so expect something harsh. Just like on '(N)Utopia' we have a quite long, soft song with acoustic guitars and strings to occlude the album in a serene way. I hope to hear who they dedicated it to from these brave musicians of South Tyrol during the planned interview. If you like well-executed melodic black metal, 'Collateral Defect' is highly recommended!