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Necrocurse: Grip Of The Dead

Swedish veterans exhume their country’s death metal glory

No doubt about it, Sweden really is on a roll as far as metal goes at the moment, and looks set to dominate the death, black, thrash and old-school metal genres for some considerable time to come. Since everyone over there appears to be in about five bands, it’s unsurprising to find that Necrocurse contains a number of extreme metal alumni and while they might not quite qualify as a supergroup, the fact that they contain members of Runemagick, Masticator and Nifelheim certainly makes them an interesting proposition.

Despite apparently forming almost 10 years ago, Grip Of The Dead is the band’s first full-length release following a series of recent EPs and draws heavily on the country’s early death metal bands, the fast and frenzied riffing combining with slower passages in a manner that recalls the likes of Nihilist, Grave and Repugnant.

Organic and unfussy, it’s a catchy and spirited affair, topped off effectively by the screams of the inimitable Hellbutcher, a touch which gives the record a slight old-school black metal overtone. Needless to say, it’s hardly original but as far as this sort of thing goes you could do a lot worse.