“Dust To Lust”

By Dr. Abner Mality

I can only imagine the difficult fashion choices the members of Brazil’s Grave Desecrator face each day. Which kind of spiked leather wrist bands to wear today? The one with 3-inch pyramid spikes or the ones with the round steel knobs? Or shall we be daring and wear the 9-inchers today? Shall we wear one bullet belt bandolier or two? And which of our 250 black shirts with goat heads, pentagrams and skulls shall we don this afternoon?

Such is life for the average South American blasphemous death/thrash metal band.  The fashion choices are as locked in as the musical ones. There’s not much suspense in what you will get from bands like this, with member names like Butcherazor and Black Sin & Damnation (remember, the “Damnation” must ALWAYS be included). Grave Desecrator have landed a plumb deal with Season of Mist, which gives them more exposure than most of their fire-breathing, whiskey-snorting brethren. I’m happy to report that the big record contract didn’t affect their songwriting any. “Dust To Lust” is better produced than what’s usual for these bands, but in no way has this band been polished, cleaned up or forced to change their style.

A lot of it is familiar beyond weariness but I can’t hate this kind of stuff because it’s what drew me into the metal underground.  Old Krisiun, Sepultura and Sarcofago blends with ancient Sodom, Destruction and Kreator to create a dirty devil’s brew. When Grave Desecrator  are at their blasphemous best, as on “Witching Whore” and “One More Soul”, all the arguments about lack of vision and originality become null and void. On “Perpetual Oath”, they crank out a longer and more complex song that might lay some signposts to the future. But there are some cuts like “Gods of Death “ and the doomy “Anathema Bloodlust” that sounds like the moldy echoes of past glory.
In total, “Dust To Lust” does make me want to rifle through my closet for old Bathory T-shirts and dig my spiked wristband out of the junkpile. I think I will stop short of filling my mouth with lighter fluid and breathing fire, however