Gruesome – Twisted Prayers

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There are only a few bands who can replicate the accurate style of the band Death, though the subject of homage or tribute band has always been argumentative especially when it comes to the most pioneering death metal band in the underground sub-genre. When the band Death was put to rest in 2001 the spirit of Chuck Schuldiner was resurrected by another musical force that carried the same attributes of the legacy of Death. Gruesome who shares members with Exhumed, Derketa, Possessed and Malevolent Creation released their debut album Savage Land in 2015 and through that studio album the reaction was immense for the band imitating the style of Leprosy and Scream Bloody Gore with classic standards of old school death metal. Another band that has the basic style to the band Death is Skeletal Remains, these two bands seem to be driven by formulated fashion of having a similar style to Death.

Since their musical formation, Gruesome has been sincerely dedicating their true homage to the band Death. With their second chapter Matt Harvey and Co. returns with an incredible effort, the sophomore album Twisted Prayers, which can be summarised as work build upon the quality and legacy of the classic ‘Spiritual Healing’ album. The new album contains ridiculous blueprints of Chuck Schulediner’s work and Gruesome has successfully embodied the true essence of Death when it comes to instrumentation and production, the blistering riffs and melodies are infused intelligently into the new songs. Matt Harvey and Daniel Gonzales have managed to write some of the best sophisticated old school death metal tracks. The monstrous opening track inhumane is very close to Living Monstrosity track which was the first track of the Spiritual Healing album. Combining the crusty guitars and guttural growls of Matt Harvey, as if it was recorded back in the late 80’s. The idea behind this video clip is based on the capital punishment in the U.S.A.

The second track A Waste of Life has an explicit style of Spiritual Healing, the influence and the tribute to Death is based on solid accuracy and devotion. The comparison to Savage Land with this album cannot be resembled, as the band incorporates plenty of thrash elements to the new tracks. Gus Rios drumming skills are rigorous and charged with sonic aggression. Gruesome has stated several times that the notion behind this project band is to find equal grounds to cover the entire discography of Death‘s legacy. The second track Twisted Prayers was premiered on the 3rd of April and it includes many abrasive composition which makes it unrelentingly raw and powerful.

Fate and Lethal Legacy show a complex level of song writing, the solos are implemented on a technical level of execution as if they have been played by James Murphy himself. The entirety of the new album is refreshingly brutal and complex, served with extreme raw sound of classic death metal. Matt Harvey’s vocals are mesmerizing and very similar to Chuck Schuldiner’s vocals, the guitar techniques and melodies are handled brilliantly. Fatal Illusions is another track where Gruesome emphasizes on team work, showing that the band has grown substantially. The song writing process for the new album is quite different when it comes to Gruesome, the force of expression to capture the absolute feel of the Spiritual Healing album requires you to understand the basic riffs of the band Death in order to construct the song portions in a meticulous form. The process of replicating and generating new riffs according to the actual form isn’t an easy task, the systematic process requires a long analysis before determining which songs will be featured on the record. The musical video which can be seen below is about the delusion of mass shootings which have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S.A. the band left a small comment stating that Fatal Illusion is an anti-mass shooting song.

Crusade of Brutality incorporates more double bass, the rapid change in tempo is exerted with strength and intensity, it also contains excellent riffs, involving whirlwind solos and pulverizing drum work, including the subversive sound waves of the bass guitar. At Death’s Door is another replica of Defensive Personalities, the heavy distortion of the riffs and sweeping solos including the melodic tremolos are very well constructed, the transition from Savage Land to Twisted Prayers displays a significant amount of effort in terms of technical mastery. The album was recorded at the Constellation studios in Orlando Florida and the band has worked with the producer Jarrett Pritchard. As for the album artwork it was created by Ed Repka. At Deaths’s Door opening riff was stripped and extracted from Killing Spree, and Defensive Personalities. The guttural vocals and the organic unity of the members is top notch. Robin Mazen’s prominent role in handling the bass guitar is great. In addition the album also features James Murphy as a guest guitarist where he nails his piercing solos.

Twisted Prayers sounds raw and the tracks are infused with up tempo old school death/thrash metal. The album title track is one of the highlights on this record, the total duration of the new album is fixed at 48 minutes including a bonus cover song of Possessed The Exorcist. This is an excellent death metal album done in the rotten old school death metal way the way that Gruesome wants it to be, and with the release of the new album the contenders of Death‘s legacy unfolds a another chapter of their musical career leaving the fans more passionate for upcoming future releases.

Release Date : June 1st, 2018
Label : Relapse Records
Track Listing:
2.A Waste Of Life
4.Lethal Legacy
5.Fatal Illusions
6.Crusade Of Brutality
7.At Death’s Door
8.Twisted Prayers
9.The Exorcist


  • Music10/10
  • Lyrics/Vocals10/10
  • Production10/10
  • Artwork9/10
  • Originality8/10
9.4With their second chapter Matt Harvey and Co. return with an incredible effort: the sophomore album 'Twisted Prayers'. Which can be summarised as work build upon the quality and legacy of the classic 'Spiritual Healing' Death album.