Spawned from the remains of the charmingly named Alabama duo Meathole Infection, Grave Ritual’s form of fetid old-school death metal clamour is the perfect brew of Autopsy and early Incantation.
The same primitive clarity and often slower pace that made the aforementioned acts such a standout amongst the genre is very much evident on Morbid Throne, the band’s second release on Dark Descent. Riffs sprawl forth at satisfying tempos, shifting between speedy agitation and leaden murky grooves pinned down by a clattering Chris Reifert-style battery, which, like Autopsy, always threatens to veer off course, but remains recklessly within the confines of the attack.
Topped with a rancidly guttural vocal assault and some sublime spiralling leads, each of the nine tracks, spanning the perfect length of 31 minutes, waste not a moment with meaningless intros or long-winded instrumental passages.
Grave Ritual expertly conjure up the rotten spirit of ugly old-guard death metal, evoking images of charnel houses and sewage tunnel nightmares in their wake.