Graceless - Official Website

Chants From Purgatory

Netherlands Country of Origin: Netherlands

1. Giants
2. Chants From Purgatory
3. The Gates Of The Gallows
4. This Ends With The World In Ruins
5. Saint
6. Nyctophilia
7. Blood Of The Brave
8. Time Has Come For Us All

Review by Felix on December 20, 2022.

First things first, Graceless from the Netherlands still play death metal. They did not change their style, not the smallest detail. I admit this is no surprise – and its consequence is that there are also not many surprises to find on Chants From Purgatory. But predictability is not bad per se and an experimental mentality is no value in itself. The four-piece does what it likes to do and so I score first plus points in terms of integrity. The production adds more positive aspects. Album number three sounds extremely heavy, tight and direct. Its guitar sound is not ridiculously low-tuned, but still brutal and voluminous. But to avoid misunderstandings, I have to mention that this sound does not exclude desperate, melancholic or even melodic tone sequences. Finally, everything is well-balanced, especially the double bass does not lack pressure.

As I sad before, the album does not hold many surprises, but the opener offers an unexpected turn. The main part of the slow-moving and smoothly flowing 'Giants' forms already a worthy introduction to the full-length, but the song achieves some extra percent of quality after the break at 4:13 and the following, highly dynamic section. It marks a great contrast to the laboriously advancing first section. This strong opener has to fight with 'Saint' for the crown, because this song is another perfect steamroller with highly appreciated double bass thunder. Graceless plough slowly and with maximum effort through the crusted earth. The minimalist melody lines arise out of nowhere and quickly crumble back to dust and ashes, but not without first leaving an impressive trail. Words and music go perfectly hand in hand and already the solo at the beginning reflects the fatalistic state of mind of the “Saint (of Treason)”.

The remaining tracks deliver safety first death metal. Do not get me wrong, safety first is always a good motto. Graceless avoid weak moments and stale parts. Additionally, they have a knack for compactness, the songs always come directly to the point and do not bore with massive repetitions. I am absolutely not disappointed - nevertheless, these six tracks would have benefited from a more menacing touch or a more morbid undertone. Maybe the band should not leave the composing to Remco Kreft alone. Doubtlessly, he does a good job (as composer, lyrics writer, lead vocalist and guitar player), but a few impulses from the other guys could be an invigorating element. The boys could also press the gas pedal more often. However, Chants From Purgatory satisfies the needs of death metal lunatics and even though there is still room for improvement, I cannot identify a really feeble point here. And do not forget that death metal is not my favourite genre – convinced death heads can and will add some percentage points to my rating.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10