Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Gates of Hell Records

Active since 2011 and fronted by a lead vocalist named Nightmare, Gravebreaker is a three-piece band from Gothenburg that (lyrically & musically) seems to live and die by the sword of eighties heavy metal*.  The full-length "Sacrifice" is the debut album for this Swedish band and it finds Nightmare backed by two solid musicians in their own right, guitarist/bassist Fury and drummer Devastation. There are also keyboards and synthesizers on this (old school metal worthy!) 10-track album, but it's not exactly advertised and there are no guest musicians listed in the credits. Those synths come in real handy when Gravebreaker is (essentially) paying homage to the early years of solo-Ozzy ("At the Gates of Hell"), but have no fear as this slick disc covers a lot of ground by the time it's all said and done! Along with some of the more obvious/well-known names like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, (eighties-era) Black Sabbath, Saxon, King Diamond/Mercyful Fate, Witchfinder General, Satan, Omen, and (pre-1987) Running Wild** this is a three-piece band whose influences run wild and free! On the highly-recommended "Sacrifice" there are also hints of Heavy Load, Gotham City, Cloven Hoof, Stormwitch, and Oz. In a strange way this up-and-coming act also reminds of the cult Swedish band Witch, but it's entirely possibility that it has more to do with this album's underground/slightly-sinister vibe than the actual music itself. As for the album's previously-mentioned lyrics? They are every-bit as slick as the band's musical style! With a somewhat rough (if not completely appropriate) production job that proves beneficial to this album's success, "Sacrifice" features subject matter and imagery that has been snatched right out of history! While we could go track by track on this album that could easily pass for a long lost classic(!), "Road War 2000" is a good number to point out. This Mad Max-influenced ripper has some cool sound effects and it instantly transports you back to the days of video stores and arcades. It's just one of this album's ever so sick moments. As in one out of ten of the awesome tracks you'll find on "Sacrifice"! Speaking of which, "Sacrifice" can be heard by heading over to Gravebreaker's bandcamp page. And really folks this is one of those gems that has to be heard to be appreciated. If you're a fan of classic heavy metal, N.W.O.B.H.M., and/or eighties metal then that is what you need to do. You need to stop what ever it is that you are doing and go over to this band's bandcamp. Hit play, turn it up loud and proud and then settle in for the ride as "Sacrifice" works it's magic....  

*As countless bands like Angel Sword, Satan's Fall, Rotör, Seven Sisters , Tower, Axe Crazy, and Demon Bitch have shown us there is nothing wrong with the decision.

**Given how much Nightmare sounds like Rolf Kasparek (Running Wild) it is hard not to think of this German band's first two albums! 

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