This is the début album by US Death Metal band Gruesome.
This is a supergroup of sorts, featuring members of Exhumed, Possessed, Malevolent Creation and Derketa. Gruesome exist purely to pay homage to Old-School Floridian Death Metal, with specific reference to the early work of Death.
It’s clear from the very start that they have everything in place to achieve this.
The sound is an authentic Morrisound one, only polished up a bit and without actually being recorded there.
The music is straight out of the Old-School Death handbook, complete with galloping drums, sharp riffs and leads/solos aplenty.
Savage Land excels in the songs though; without good songs this album would fall flat as being rather pointless. Thankfully though, listening to all of those Death Metal albums from an early age has done wonders for the band and this is a really enjoyable album that almost seems to reanimate the corpse of Death, if only for a little while.
In fact the spirit of Death is felt strongly throughout these 36 minutes. It seems to be lurking wherever you look, the riffs, the drums, the solos, the vocals, the choruses, everything really; deeply infused into the songs.
In another band this might be seen as a bad thing, but in Gruesome it’s so honest, so pure, so well-realised that Savage Land just comes off as a triumph.
Turn the volume up and give this a listen. If you’ve ever been a fan of early Death then I defy you not to enjoy this.