Published Apr 17, 2015The enthusiasm alone on Savage Land is awe-inspiring: when members of Exhumed, Malevolent Creation and Possessed get together to pay homage to early Death albums, you know the vibe is going to be tons of fun. And right down to the logo, the eyesore album title font (very nice attention to detail there), and, of course, the tunes themselves, Gruesome deliver. It's alarming, actually: slam back a few and put this on for a friend, tell them it's Leprosy and see if they blink an eye. They might not, because between the fast death metal, the slower heavy-thrash stomp and the screamed vocals, this is pure Chuck Schuldiner worship through and through; nothing more, nothing less.
The insane Ed Repka cover art seals the deal: this is a fun romp through the rehearsal space of a bunch of longhairs who love a band so much it hurts, and while the replay value is a bit limited to those times you want to hear the sound but have worn out your classic platters — as with Carcass clones — the end result is still incredible and obviously completely from the heart. Incidentally, as an added bonus, one-time Death guitarist James Murphy shows up for a guest guitar solo in "Closed Casket". (Relapse)