Grave Dominion VIII

With two decades of hair-twirling under their dented bullet belts, Sweden’s Grave return with yet another offering that fortunately is not a rehash of past glories. Having influenced countless bands with their early ’90s death signature sound, vocalist/guitarist Ola Lindgren gives no quarter — and somehow sounds more guttural than ever — proving that these metal geezers can still head-bang with the youngsters. Thrashy opener "A World in Darkness” gallops rapidly like old Slayer (reprised later by "Bloodpath”), stealing a few chords from Morgoth’s Odium near the end. "Fallen (Angel Son)” follows in the same (cloven) hoof marks, spitting blood and fire at every bridge. Unrelentingly, "Deathstorm” and "Stained by Hate” don’t falter a note in maintaining Grave’s aggression. Lindgren sustains one note in "Sinners Lust” for 12 seconds at the fade-out, mixing Allen West’s prolonged chords and Kerry King’s fret board spasms. Drummer Ronnie Bergerstahl never misses a beat, though he does keep almost exactly the same tempo throughout the album’s nine tracks. In small doses, Dominion VIII works wonders for those old-school death cravings. (Regain)