Already the cover, painted by Spain's premier fantasy-artist Luis Royo, leaves a good impression, when you take the second album of South Tyrolia's GRAVEWORM into your hands.
Their debut "When Daylight's Gone" was disqualified as CREMATORY-clone by their critics, but there were very distinctive differences, which made it something special nonetheless. Therefore I was quite anxious about what they sounded today. Well, now that the album is rotating in my player, I must say that I like GRAVEWORM anno 1999 just as much as two years before. Just like then, just more defined, the sextet mix their dark yet highly melodious Death Metal with Black Metal- and Gothic-influences, creating a very interesting cocktail of caressing bombast, classical implements and a good portion of heaviness.
Already the opener "A Dreaming Beauty" showcases harsh Black Metal-vocals, underlaid with heavy and fast Gothic Death Metal on the one side and calm passages, borne by cello and violin on the other side, richly embedded in wonderful melodies, which also define "Nocturnal Hymns", which bears its name deservedly. Very hymnic and bombastic with alternating Black Metal- and Death Metal-covals and varied tempi it undoubtedly is the highlight of this album. Only marginally behind it ranges "Prophecies In Blood", which again contains great melodies, underlined by duels between an organ and double-bass-drums.
GRAVEWORM play highly interesting Dark Metal with all its facets (hymnic, varied, heavy) and with a great quality, so anyone, who feels even remotely touched by the above-mentioned styles and influences cannot call his collection complete without this one!