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Graveworm – Ascending Hate Award winner

Ascending Hate
by Charlotte ''Downright Destructive'' Lamontagne at 12 July 2015, 11:04 AM

The fascination for obscurity within the metal realm has earned it's place quickly as it molded itself to the genres evolution. Besides the lyrical themes of a twilight earth and a grandiose death for all, musicians have put considerable efforts into recreating darkness through their instruments as well. Lowering the tone, slowing down the pace, adding glorious funeral arrangements has proven it's effects quite positively, giving birth to a couple new genres. As Black Metal has already established it's credibility and prestige amongst the fans, Dark Metal seems to slowly follow in the footsteps. With Gothic influences as main fuel and Melodic Metal as close second, bands from all over the world now express themselves accordingly. GRAVEWORM, the Italian formation, have been doing so with a well-constructed discography expanding since the late 90s. Having just released ''Ascending Hate'' upon the world, it seems the quintet have been tumbling down into a universe of lies, hatred, torture and empires...
A warm, acoustic guitar goes on with a nostalgic tale, veiling the record with melody and aesthetics, when sudden electrified guitars tear every emotions yet set, bringing on massiveness. The profound sound, complete with working duets and a full-on percussion storm, unfurls on you with its rapid and filled structures. Wrapped with a perfectly low-pitched growl, GRAVEWORM here deliver a harmonious record, soothing in a way only you metal fans could understand. Carrying on with slow tempos and weighing arrangements, the dramatic feel never quite leaves the record. As both first track (''The Death Heritage'', ''Buried Alive'') reveal with excellence the aura behind the album in a crystal clear way, the mind of the listener could only truly capture the records essence from a close listen. Not stepping into the barriers of innovation or total originality, ''Ascending Hate'' exudes a tasteful spirit, a refined energy and comes off like a study of luminescence through darkness, melody through brash and gracefulness through heavy. Polished up to it's highest form, the musicians rather fall into the flown away harmonies before utter chaos. Proving talent within the skills shown through the songs, the formation also demonstrate their great musicianship and composition process. Through meaningful and well-balanced combinations or final arrangements, the band is particularly concerned by the overall product, the sound, the atmosphere.
The deep, round tone gives a classic 00s metal flavor to the record; resembling many other acts' tone. Also flirting with accents and contrasts, GRAVEWORM explore from delicate to furious, creating a captivating effect for the listener. Always welling up your eyes with emotions, the warmth of the acoustics or the sharp and angry tempo blasts transmit sentiment, whether obscure, mysterious or plain bitterness. Pieces like ''The Empire of Madness'' or ''Downfall of Heaven'' exude imagery, whilst the crying guitar duets or the slow, like massive nephilim steps introductions take away the spirit and turn the ambiance into mighty. For the soul touching passages of the record, GRAVEWORM successfully uplift the heart with vulnerable bridges of melody like in ''Rise Again'', out of many. Nevertheless, the striking difference between powerful (''Liars to the Lions'', ''Sons of Lies'') and fragile must be considered, as it represents a certain, unstable evolution. Needless to say, the record progresses through many emotions and states of mind...
As there is no clear concept per se, the serene keyboards, the radiant and noble chants against the raging instrumentals end in a solid record, filled with emotional complexity. Between vibrating pulses and elegance, GRAVEWORM played it safe within the boundaries they had already mastered. With a slight twist of Gothic and Melo, ''Ascending Hate'' has no unique purpose or avant-gardist trait... It seems the first desire of this album is to flow and caress your ears through both abrasive and gentle. Closing grandly, dramatically and ambitiously with ''Nocturnal Hymns II (The Death Anthem)'', the unexpected and abrupt ending of the piece will leave you in suspense and hunger...

5 Star Rating

1. The Death Heritage
2. Buried Alive
3. Blood, Torture and Death
4. The Empire of Madness
5. Downfall of Heaven
6. Stillborn
7. Liars to the Lions
8. Rise Again
9. Sons of Lies
10. Nocturnal Hymns II (The Death Anthem)
Stefan Fiori – Vocals
Stefan Unterpertinger – Guitar
Eric Righi – Guitar
Florian Reiner – Bass
Maschtl Innerbichler – Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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Edited 08 December 2022

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