GRUESOME Fragments of Psyche

EP · 2017 · Death Metal
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3.5/5 ·
"Fragments of Psyche" is an EP release by US death metal act Gruesome. The EP was released through Relapse Records in March 2017. Gruesome was formed in 2014 out of lead vocalist/guitarist Matt Harvey´s and drummer Gus Rios involvement with the Death To All (DTA) touring project. Gruesome is basically the band members playground for playing early Death (the band) influenced death metal. Gruesome released their debut full-length studio album "Savage Land" in 2015 and the "Dimensions of Horror" EP followed in 2016. Both strongly early Death worshipping releases.

That trend is continued on "Fragments of Psyche", but that´s only natural as five out of the seven tracks on the 30:59 minutes long EP are demo versions of tracks which appear in their final studio versions on "Savage Land (2015)". In addition to the five demo tracks, the EP features one new original track (the opening title track) and a cover of "Choke on It" (titled "Choke on It '91") from Death´s "Leprosy (1988)" album. Now I wrote above that the material is strongly influenced by the early Death releases, and in particular "Leprosy (1988)", but the title track is actually a technical death metal track, which sounds more like a homage to Death´s "Human (1991)" album, so in that regard Gruesome have developed their sound a bit.

The quality of the material is high throughout, and personally I think the demo versions of the tracks from "Savage Land (2015)" sound slightly more interesting than the versions on the studio album. They have the right authentic old school death metal rawness to them. The cover of "Choke on It" is also well performed, although Gruesome don´t add much to the original. The title track is a high quality technical death metal track, and it´s great to hear that the band are also able to cover other areas of the death metal genre. "Fragments of Psyche" is a well produced EP from the demo tracks to the studio tracks, and upon conclusion a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved and maybe even slightly too low.
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