Quick Review: THE LURKING FEAR Out of the Voiceless Grave
Not even a month prior to the release of The Lurking Fear's debut record Out of the Voiceless Grave, Repulsion guitarist Matt Olivio's new project, Expulsion released their debut Nightmare Future. Why is this notable? Well, for starters, the new old-school death metal project featuring current and ex-members of At the Gates, Skitsystem and The Crown presumably take their namesake from a Repulsion song, which is a good indicator of what this band is all about. Out of the Voiceless Grave is indeed a proper nod to the death metal of old, rife with battering drums, vitriolic snarls, and of course, no shortage of whiplash-inducing riffs.
While Tomas Lindberg remains active in At the Gates, it's great to hear what he's capable of as a vocalist in this type of musical setting. Unlike At the Gates, The Lurking Fear is devoid of any sort of melody and is much more bludgeoning affair than Lindberg's main squeeze. Speaking of bludgeoning, drummer Adrian Erlandsson, also of At the Gates fame, is free to blast his way into oblivion using The Lurking Fear as his canvas, and he does so liberally. The riffs churned out by guitarists Jonas Stålhammar and Fredrik Wallenberg are faithful to the old-school sound, but are marred by the modern production of the record.
And therein lies the main qualm with Out of the Voiceless Grave. It's one thing to be a modern death metal band influenced by the old guard. It's another to be a band whose purpose is to pay homage to the old-school death metal sound, and in this respect, The Lurking Fear miss the mark a bit. It's almost unfair that Expulsion put out their EP so close, because it slightly taints what The Lurking Fear could have been. If there were enough variation in some of the songs, then the record might even be able to justify its 41 minute runtime; unfortunately, it's lacking in that regard. Despite these criticisms, Out of the Voiceless Grave is a solid debut from some of death metal's most revered musicians; it's disappointing it wasn't executed with the same quality we've come to expect from those involved.