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Review: Graveyard – Hold Back the Dawn

by Frane Odak

Graveyard – Hold Back the Dawn

1. Swarm of Flies
2. Winds like Daggers
3. Of Extant Cults and Living Terrors
4. Hurled unto Damnation
5. The Storm Above (Port Sulphur)
6. The Shrike
7. O Beast I Fear Thy Name
8. Madre de la Noche

Label: War Anthem Records
Date: September 20, 2019

This year has been a very productive one for metal thus far with more and more albums coming each month. One of such albums is also a new album of Spanish death metal machinery called Graveyard. This is their fourth album and it is described as the third chapter of the “Lovecraftian tetralogy” which was started with their second album “The Sea Grave” in 2013. The band is on the scene since 2007, which is a relatively long time. They had a very few line-up changes, so this can be contributing factor to the band’s stable sound. Judging by the fan feedback the band’s album have reached a certain amount of acclaim. After three acclaimed albums, I’m certain there can be a place for a fourth one. But lets take a closer look into it first.

When the album starts, it is very clear that this will be a true old-school death metal experience. The sound on this album has some classic aggressive death metal riffs combined with slower doom ones. It strikes into the core of what death metal is and it sounds great. As aggression isn’t the only thing that matters, the album also relies a lot on the atmosphere too. The dark ambiance of this album is shown through background keyboards and choir passages, which are most noticeable on “Hurled unto Damnation”.

There is also some melody to be found on the final track “Madre de la Noche”. This song starts off as a classical death metal song, but later it dives more into Amon Amarth-like melodic death metal territory until the short pause after which it transforms into unusual keyboard led outro with vocals and other instruments in the background. Classic destructive energy of death metal is present throughout the album, but the most aggressive track is definitely “Winds like Daggers”. The overall atmosphere of the album fits very well with Lovecraftian lyrical themes and forms a concrete whole.

Judging by what can be heard on this album, I can safely say that this will be another acclaimed record in the band’s steadily growing catalogue. It might not be the most innovative record ever heard, as it is very hard to be innovative in death metal nowadays, but it is still a rather enjoyable one. I’ve had a pleasant time listening to this well-rounded death metal masterpiece and I hope you will feel the same!

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