Graveyard – Back To The Mausoleum Review

Spain’s premier pan-Scandinavian death metallers return with this EP, a continuation of their rotting blend of gnarly Swedish buzz and morbid Finnish atmosphere, and all to the usual results: Very respectable, highly enjoyable, not at all original, and filled to the brim with the best kind of simple riffs, straightforward bashing, eerie melody, and cavernous oozing vibe. Recorded to celebrate the band’s 10th anniversary, and clearly harking back to their 2008 debut EP Into The Mausoleum, Back To The Mausoleum was written and rehearsed in the same garage in which the band began back then…

Release date: April 27, 2018. Label: War Anthem
Opening track “Scorched Earth” is an instrumental, and though it’s less than one minute long, it manages to wring as much creepiness as it can from the somber minor-key arpeggios that lead into the intro to “And The Shadow Comes.” Horror-soundtrack keyboard pads prop up a trudging barrage of chords, the whole of it picking up steam into a one-two thrash beat played at a midtempo lumber. Vocalist Julkarn’s gutturals are augmented with distant, shouted backgrounds, and everything wraps with some nice cyclical guitar melodies by the end. The oddly titled “Craving Cries I Breath” picks up the pace into d-beat territory, balancing the thrashing with some blast beats for good measure, and sealing the deal with a great half-time middle section that rolls right into a killer Bolt Thrower steamroller drive. Closing number “An Epiphany Of Retribution” wraps up Graveyard’s return to their roots by returning to the beginning of this new EP, briefly reprising the arpeggiated introductory motif. From there, the song chugs ahead with a slicing thrashy riff and haunting harmonized leads, plus more of those doubled vocals — it’s a nifty trick, if a simple one, this bringing things full circle, and it ends Back To The Mausoleum on its strongest track.

While this latest trip to the mausoleum certainly achieves its goal of invoking the first go-’round, Back To The Mausoleum trumps its elder brother in two distinct categories — one, the production is better, although still appropriately dank and fetid, and two, though still alcohol-fueled, the performances are tighter, the band simply matured and more skilled at their craft, now a decade later. Any fans of classic straight-up death metal should already be acquainted with this Graveyard, and those that are can attest to the band’s penchant for quality, dating all the way back to that first EP, so it’s no surprise that Back To The Mausoleum shows these Spaniards in fine form still.

Something here is still rotten, but now a decade later, it’s just that much rotten-er, and we’re all the better for it. Dig it up; dig in; and get to rotting.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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