Gravebreaker – Sacrifice – Review

Auther: Craig Matthews

Sweden these days is a real powerhouse for metal, with both well-established bands and plucky new comers calling the Scandinavian country their home. Today’s band GRAVEBREAKER fall into the “plucky new comer” category, with very little information about them out there all I can tell you is; they are a three piece formed in 2011 and “Sacrifice” is their debut album. Oh yeah, they say they play “only traditional Heavy Metal”, lets crack on then!

GRAVEBREAKER have a sound that reminds me of early IRON MAIDEN with harmonic guitars and rough almost punk like vocals. While it is a nice change from what is common in most bands these days I’m concerned it could begin to sound a bit dated. Don’t let that put you off though, because despite that they have a sort of crackling infectious energy and I’m finding myself enjoying it more and more. The guitar riffs are tight and sharp sounding, with some nice harmonics and solos, track three “Gravebreaker” is a great example of the bands great guitar work, it has a furious riff and some tasty solos, a proper Heavy Metal track.

It’s all going well so far, until we hit “At The Gates Of Hell”. For some reason GRAVEBREAKER decided to do the intro to that song on a keyboard with “Sci-fi” effects, done right I think it could have been a nice atmospheric twist. Sadly it was done rather clumsily and sounded more like a 60’s science fiction show soundtrack. I’d love to say that was that, but they pick up the keyboard again later in the song and combine it with the vocals. The resulting effect is tacky and sounds very tinny, it’s a shame, because they were going so well!

Carrying on! And in this second half GRAVEBREAKER have comeback with renewed vigour and more fire in their bellies. The music in this second half is faster, heavier and packs much more of a punch with some riffs even taking on a Thrash like quality with their high speed strumming. It’s all very good, I just wish more care had been taken in the production as sometimes those brilliant guitar riffs don’t pop out quite as much as they should.

For a debut album “Sacrifice” is good, it showcases GRAVEBREAKER’s musical ability and gives them chance to hone their sound. The guitars are brilliant with some great riffs for everyone to enjoy, and those vocals manage to stay away from sounding dated. What does let the album down is those keyboards! To be frank, they sound awful and really drop the quality of the music, especially when running alongside the guitar riffs. Combine that with occasional untidy production and it really spoils the experience, not every experimental idea works.

Rating 3.5/5

Track list
4.At The Gates Of Hell
5.Violent City
6.Kill And Kill Again
7.Road War 2000
8.Pray For Death
10.Messenger Of Death

Band Members
Fury – Bass, Guitars
Devastation – Drums
Nightmare – Vocals

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