Out of the Voiceless Grave by The Lurking Fear

Release date: August 11, 2017
Label: Century Media Records

Supergroups are cool. But sometimes, they fall short of expectations. The band, The Lurking Fear, is represented by bandmembers from At the Gates, Disfear, Skitsystem and God Macabre. They are a supergroup as it seems, but more so, they are a group of musicians who want to jam and have fun.

Tomas Lindberg doesn’t flounder in any of his side projects. He and respected drummer Adrian Erlandsson team up with veteran guitarists Jonas Stalhammar and Fredrik Wallenberg on The Lurking Fear. They also add bassist Andreas Axelson to round up the band and raise old-school death metal hell.

So, will this supergroup disappoint? You might have heard that the band released an EP recently, and this follow-up, the full-length album entitled Out of the Voiceless Grave might be just the thing the band needs to come out of the gates (sorry) to a great start. Should The Lurking Fear continue to plow through everything in its path, one thing is certain – you may love Sweden even more than you already do, and that’s not because In Flames is still cranking out albums.

It is as of yet uncertain whether the band members will continue with the Lurking Fear as a long-term project. All I know is that the band scores aces on Out of the Voiceless Grave. It doesn’t sound like anything the guys are known for in their respective full-time projects, and that makes Out of the Voiceless Grave an interesting listen for fans of those bands.

 

In particular, the band writes some good songs that are easy to appreciate. Fitting as a horror movie soundtrack, Out of the Voiceless Grave takes old-school death metal inspiration from days of yore. The guitars are a little gritty, and the drums sound like blunt thuds similar to a mallet smashing through skull fragments in rapid sequences. The bass is audible and the guitars are down tuned similarly to those used by other bands who have had their turn at the osdm itch. Just like the guys from Bloodbath, this other Swedish supergroup into old-school death metal is now a similar success story waiting to be heard.

The name of the band is lifted from an HP Lovecraft story and is an interesting similarity phonetically with Entombed’s vaunted debut album, Left-Hand Path. The songs are catchy and the guys never overplay a riff or play ambient bird-watching music. From the get-go, it’s metal with FUNdamentals played perfectly. And while most At the Gates fans may prefer their beloved At the Gates albums over anything suitably old-school, Tomas knocks it out of the park with his vocals and lyrics accompanying very traditional song structure here. The songs are not kvlt one-riff wonders that blast and stop without much aesthetics.

The guitar riffs provide the backbone of the music and the drums keep pace nicely. The bass provides much-needed low-end gobs to fatten the guitar riffs and occasionally lets bass lines filter out of the heavy rhythms.  It proves that there’s not a thing you can do wrong when passion motivates the utilization of inherent talent. These guys have it, and they are all on the same page in Out of the Voiceless Grave.

The production is polished enough to let the individual performances stand out, without sounding too polished to allow comparisons to modern death metal efforts. The riffs are squarely utilized to provide catchy melody to songs, fast or slow. The riffs are rather simple but fun to bop along to if you like metal catchy and accessible. The drums aren’t overdone, and there are no individual performances meant to stand out and alienate others on this album. It’s a group effort and each member of the band gets to have fun with their respective instruments.

So, for old-school death metal that is can’t-miss and is easier to acquire than a dozen obscure Altar albums, bow down and chow down on some liver and lima beans while you check out The Lurking Fear’s debut album, Out of the Voiceless Grave. It’s like that Texas Roadhouse full of chainsaws out-back. There aren’t spoons and forks available for guests and anyone who asks for chopsticks are getting served next. So, if you’re an old-school death metal fan and you require a little more songwriting refinement to suit your palette, these guys serve you up a plateful here. Truly, this is the kind of metal that doesn’t go away so quickly. So, if The Lurking Fear gets enough folks excited over death metal the old-fashioned way, then we’ll have more of this great music to enjoy.

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