The fathers of Swedish Death Metal are back! And this time we didn’t have to wait some six years like with “Back From The Grave”. Only two years after their comeback album here they are again to punish us from beyond the grave. But has anything changed during these two years? Well… hell yeah. For starters there’s a new member in the band. Pelle Ekegren (from COERCION) is sitting behind the drum kit. Well he’s not a wholly fresh new member as he already appeared on GRAVE’s 2002 tour as a guest member. But let’s cut the crap and move on to the music.
The three first tracks are more along the “Back From The Grave” vein. “Last Journey” is a rotting piece of mid-paced Death Metal while “Reborn” and “Awakening” have a little more groove. “Breeder” then brings the first signs of the band getting back to their roots with its faster, more rocking approach. “Trial By Fire” pounds its way to the subconscious and turn the headbang mode on. The song rolls along like panzer division crushing everything in its path. “Bloodfeast” is probably the fastest track on the album. A galloping and intense feast of old-school style Death Metal for the ears. “Heretic” is another fast track although there are some slower, groovier parts with sawing riffs.
In a sense “Fiendish Regression” (very accurate title by the way) is more of comeback album than “Back From The Grave”. The band has certainly gotten in touch with the spirit of their older albums and the result is a genuine piece of old school Swedish Death Metal. The songs are simple and there are no surprises but hell isn’t that what it’s all about with such albums? No thinking required, just play air guitar till your fingers bleed and head bang till your brains are so smashed they ooze out of your ears. And then you bang your head some more…
“Fiendish Regression” is like a fresh breath of putrid and mouldy air with its aggressive and simple, almost primitive Death Metal and shows that GRAVE isn’t out of the game yet. Fans of GRAVE and old school Death Metal rejoice, for the Swedish Death Metal masters are back stronger than in years. And if you can get your hand on the first pressing you’ll not only get a slipcase version of the CD but there’ll be two bonus tracks as well: a SAINT VITUS cover track “Burial At Sea” and a re-recorded demo track “Autopsied”. (Online September 22, 2004)