From the Grave
Label: Cling Recordings
Time: 43:58, 13 songs
Death Metal. Thatís what Corpse plays - straight-on death metal Ė and they do a pretty good job of it, too! From the Grave contains 13 tracks of slow to mid-paced death metal, with some faster moments as well. The vocals are a good, quality death growl - not the ultra low-end guttural type (like Crimson Thorn), but not influenced by hardcore-style shouting either - just good solid death metal vocals. Although not ground-breakingly original, the songs have interesting, enjoyable arrangements. Production is sort of a mixed bag. The guitars and vocals sound great, and the mix seems good, but the drum sound could have been better, specifically the quality and tone. There is not much separation of the different drum sounds, which can cause the listener to lose track of what is going on in a song, especially when things speed up. Well-defined drum sounds, especially the snare, are a good way to keep the listener tuned in to the intensity of a song. Another area, which could use some improvement, is the tightness of the band as a whole. Instances can be cited at times throughout the CD where it sounds like someone loses the beat, or the beat loses them.
Corpse really seems to shine during some of the mid-pace songs where everyone is in synch. Then the drumbeats are far enough apart to be distinguished (despite the production), and you can feel the emotions of the songs coming through the speakers.
Lyrically Corpse covers some pretty standard "Christian metal topics" in a straightforward manner. From the story of Jesus's purpose on earth, to what will happen if you donít heed his words, to issues of unity and doubt.
As I consider the album as a whole, I would say the shortcomings give way to the overall quality of the songs and vocals, and Corpse delivers a very enjoyable and solid death metal album.
By Chris King
It's not often that a band sounds exactly like their name. But that's what we've got with Corpse--down-tuned, gritty grindcore with a cadaver for a singer. I think he's still got some dirt stuck down in his throat. The album isn't nearly as bad as I expected, however; there are actually some nice sonics and mixing, and an overall sound similar to Mortification's Scrolls of the Megilloth. Most of the tunes sound identical until the latter half of the album, when they change their picking style and get into some slower, more groove-based rhythms. "So Called Unity" is my favorite, with its simple but slow-slamming riff and the lone acoustic passage on the album at the end (it's beautiful; they need more of that!).
The lyrics deal a lot with temptation and doubt, with the usual overt, evangelistic messages. Christian fans who listen only to death metal should enjoy this, even though it's about 8-10 years behind the current trends in the mainstream scene.
By Josh Spencer
CD's can be purchased at http://www.clingrec.com for $10 + $2 shipping