You can judge Final Gate Records‘ latest split from the cover. It’s a skeletal sepulchral party in full occult swing, done in pen ‘n’ ink scratching à la Mark Riddick. Musically it’s the same – this is Old Skool Death Metal worship at the altar of Incantation, so if that sounds like fun, take gulp from the chalice.
Graveyard Ghoul and Cryptic Brood are young German bands, and each offers three songs. Everything is covered in cemetery grime so thick that anything not razor-sharp is buried. The bass hasn’t been exhumed, but there’s enough rattle and boom in the [lack of] production to bang your head to when the volume’s up. There are riffs – lots of them, some pretty good — and a bunch of grunting about nightmare ceremonies. Graveyard Ghoul has a serious doom inflection, and Cryptic Brood aren’t all that different, but with more of a booming rasp to the high end and some hollowed vocals.
Decent stuff, and it will be fun to see what both bands offer on their promised full lengths in 2015.