Metalheads love a good tribute band. Remember the County Medical Examiners? They ruled the pathologically-obsessed goregrind roost until Carcass themselves awakened from their self-dug dirt nap and got back on the gore horse. Immortal is no more, but Abbath's Motorhead tribute act, Bombers, is in fine fettle; alongside The Iron Maidens and Judas Priestess, they've got the market cornered on straight-up covers. Ereb Altor doesn't identify as a Bathory tribute band, per se, but their bombastic mid-period Viking riffs say otherwise, and Thulcandra's last record definitely warmed Dissection fans' frozen hearts. What I'm getting at is that, basically, if you make a thing that sounds a lot like another thing I like a lot, I'm not going to be mad about it, and it seems like that goes for a significant percentage of other metalheads, too. That's just one of the reasons why Gruesome rules so much.
One spin of Gruesome's debut, Savage Land (out April 21 on Relapse) and it's immediately apparent where their main inspiration's coming from. Given that two core members (guitarist/vocalist Matt Harvey from Exhumed and drummer Gus Rios of Malevolent Creation) met on the Death to All tribute tour and were drawn together by their mutual love for the first half of Evil Chuck's catalogue, and that the remaining pair—bassist Robin Mazen of Derketa and Possessed guitarist Daniel Gonzalez—are in possession of plenty of unfuckwithable vintage death metal cred of their own, there's absolutely no surprise that Savage Land is a glorious throwback to the days of sweatpants, Morrisound, and Leprosy.
Open the casket and revel in the forgotten past with our exclusive stream of "Gruesome" below.
Savage Land is out 4/21 via Relapse.
Someone once told Kim Kelly that she looks like Chuck Schuldiner; she's on Twitter – @grimkim