Gruesome Stuff Relish [Spain]
Sempiternal Death Grind
Simply judging Gruesome Stuff Relish by their image alone, one can be forgiven for mistaking the band as one of Swedish origins, both with the material on the album and the horror-inspired album artwork that has become commonplace in the Swedish old school death metal revival, with bands such as Revolting embracing such aesthetics with their works. But Gruesome Stuff Relish really hails from Spain, and since their formation in 2000 have already a whole string of releases under their belt, with Sempiternal Death Grind being the third addition to their full length discography.
Opening track A Date with Fulci catches the listener by surprise though, with sound samples greeting the listener and an easy rock beat and some scratching at the background having one go back to check if he indeed has the right record playing. But without warning the first riffs of the album hits the listener, and the band’s old school Swedish death metal influences become instantly clear, with the abrasive and grinding guitar tone of Santiago and Noel and the mostly d-beat styled drumming of Paolo, providing most of the raw, crusty energy in the music. But unlike many of the Entombed and Nihilist worshippers out there, the band takes a different vocal approach, a high pitched growl that would have been expected in perhaps a black metal record, and this undoubtedly provides a unique sound to the band, allowing Gruesome Stuff Relish to stand out from the plethora of Swedish death metal clones out there. Somehow, this vomit-sounding style of vocals also enable the band to deliver their dose of horror more effectively.
The band’s horror aesthetics are obvious in their lyrical themes, revolving around cannibalism and death, and the stench of putrefaction helps in making the listening experience of Sempiternal Death Grind all the more exciting. Sound samples are also littered throughout the album to reinforce these themes, like at the end of End is Near, sounding like a desperate plea for help before one ends up on the dining table of a tribe. But these are just one small area of focus for the band, as the main method of displaying their obsession with horror can be shown in the music. For instance, keyboards are utilised cleverly to create a haunting and ominous atmosphere, and even silence are placed at strategic spots, like on S.O.S., sending chills down the listener’s spine.
While the main style of the band seems to be old school Swedish death metal in the veins of Entombed, they also display slight grindcore influences at times, in particular the shorter tracks like Desecrated where the band plays fast as fuck, with the track being an example of the straightforward style of the band’s songwriting. Furthermore, the album lasts just below 40 minutes, ensuring that things do not become too stale in dragging on for too long.
Bands like Gruesome Stuff Relish display the global spread of the Swedish sound, which can be a good or bad thing depending on one’s preferences. Fortunately, it is bands like Gruesome Stuff Relish as well that attempt innovations in the genre that has been done to death, ensuring that things remain (ironically) fresh.