Dead Congregation - Graves of the Archangels
Nuclear War Now! Productions
Death Metal
9 songs (43:30)
Release year: 2008
Nuclear War Now! Productions
Reviewed by Crash
Archive review

It is time for awesome death metal.

Athens, Greece… once was ruled by the gods. It is now ruled by Dead Congregation. For some reason I never saw any buzz for this band when Grave of the Archangels originally came out in 2008. But with a recent performance at the Maryland Death Festival and some word of mouth I finally found myself tuning in.

I like most death metal that I hear, but I like it very passively. In the same way that I could find the courage to start a pit for the lamest thrash band I can appreciate good death metal. But it takes a lot for a band to get me to pay attention to more than a few songs let alone a full album. I have to admit that after repeated listens that this is one of the most enjoyable death metal albums I have heard in years.

The album starts with doomy and swampy Martyrdoom before bursting out the gate with Hostis Humani Generis. The riffage goes beyond your standard Slayer chugging and manages to remind me of the more technical technical riffage that has become popular with modern death metal but mixed with the depth and authentic heaviness of Incantation or other old school death metal bands that you know more than me about.

The production is perfect with dark and murky vocals, crunchy guitars, and punctuated drums. And thank god, the drums sound like drums. Vanishing Faith is another highlight on the album. The breakdowns call back to Hammer Smashed Face while still being undeniably itself. One of the best aspects of Grave of the Archangels and maybe why I like it so much is the simplicity of it. Like a Bolt Thrower album, the band never makes the mistake of giving into studio temptations like longwinded intros, voice sampling, or noise war production. Everything that you hear comes from the instruments themselves which helps to create an authentic death metal experience. The title track is an epic one making the most out of its almost nine minute song length. Songwriting in death metal is always appreciated, but not always required. Here it comes in spades. Over nine songs in forty three minutes, there isn’t a moment that feels out of excess. Some people might find a problem with forty three minutes of unrelenting chaotic madness. Usually I would, but rarely is it done so well.

And what better way to end the album than with the best song with the best riffs? Teeth Into Red is one of those rare songs that just gets it. A song that just gets what makes death metal so much fun to listen to. Every aspect of the band's music finds itself at its best here. I rarely get this excited about death metal albums. Sure, I love the songs and the riffs but it isn't a stretch to say that bands often repeat themselves... a lot. Most have the two or three great songs and the other ten that were practice for those three. Well, I have no problem saying that this stuff makes me happier than a pig in da poo poo. The wall of sound created amidst the flurry of double bass and blast beats creates a warmness in my anals of my heart.

I recommend it. I recommend it a whole bunch.

This is ear candy for metalheads. Not a single second on Grave of the Archangels is for the uninitiated. They should sell this shit in cans.

Killing Songs :
All are fantastic, but it all culminates with Teeth Into Red
Crash quoted 92 / 100
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