GRAVEWORM – Ascending Hate
The ninth studio album from Italy’s Graveworm "Ascending Hate" contains the requisite dark metal elements that have established the quintet as a potent presence in the scene. Combining black and gothic outlooks both musically and vocally to allow the band a wide open playing field in terms of these compositions, we get 10 tracks that should move people in a multi-layered manner.
The guitar trilling and evil chord choices from Eric Righi and Steve Unterpertinger make the first two tracks "The Death Heritage" and "Buried Alive" early favorites – the latter a touch more doomy in comparison to the energetic opener. Stefano Fiori as a vocalist switches effortlessly between the high pitched, passionate screams and gruff mid-range growls, making the semi-blasting "Downfall of Heaven" and melodic despair of "Sons of Lies" vicious and chill-bump worthy. Not everything in Graveworm’s outlook has to be super-fast, sometimes the snare hits are a little more controlled from Martin Innerbichler in spots, check out the In Flames-like "Blood Torture Death" during the opening sequence or the more gothic oriented "Stillborn" that features some quieter piano passages amidst the normal electric proceedings.
The key to a great dark metal album is versatility – if all the tracks are set in a similar tempo or become structurally predictable, it loses overall impact. Fortunately for Graveworm these factors never come into play. Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth factor into the band’s outlook as much as Sentenced, Paradise Lost, and the aforementioned In Flames – making "Ascending Hate" a very powerful, dynamic final product.
Sure to appease the long-timers, and hopefully see the group attain new fans as well.