“Twisted Prayers”

By Theron Moore

Before we jump into this review, let’s do a deep dive into who Gruesome is.  If you hadn’t noticed they sound like Death and there’s a good reason for that.  See, they used to be DTA Tours prior to becoming Gruesome and DTA Tours celebrated the music of Death.  They had two goals and only two goals:  Jam that classic sound and tour the fuck out of the planet, and they did both. 

But a funny thing happened.  They decided to change the name of the band and write original music and here we are.  Oh, and continue to pay homage to Death and all that’s glorious about that band.  And they’re up front about that too.  And more power to ‘em because they’re really damn good at it. “Twisted Prayers” is straight up “Spiritual Healing” for fans of that era, which you should be.  

Handling vocals and doing his best Chuck Schuldiner is Exhumed’s Matt Harvey,  Gus Rios (Malevolent Creation) on drums, Daniel Gonzalez on guitar (Possessed) and Derketa’s Robin Mazen on bass.  Now that we know all there is about Gruesome, let’s talk about how good “Twisted Prayers” is.  Dare I say great?  Actually it’s about two levels above that, to be honest.   

Anyone who knows me knows how hyper critical and pretty brutal I can be when it comes to reviewing music for one simple reason:  I’ve been a metal fan since 1982 and it pisses me off when bands new and old put out shit or mail it in.  And “Twisted Prayers” is neither one.  In fact, it’s about a million miles away from both.This is death metal the way it was meant to sound.  And yeah I know, Gruesome is paying homage to Death and that’s all well and good, but if the music sucks, there’s not much you can do about it.  But like I said before, the music doesn’t suck, it’s stellar, it’s so right on it should be against the law.  

It’s refreshing to hear musicians getting together and creating music you can tell they’ve sunk their hearts and souls into and that’s what I hear on everything Gruesome has done but especially “Twisted Prayers” which, as I mentioned before, is landing somewhere in that “Spiritual Healing” era of Death, in terms of sound.
 I think what really blows me away is that the band has two full length records, an EP and a 7”, all in the span of four years, and they just keep getting better doing what they’re doing.  “Twisted Prayers” is eight original songs and two bonus tracks – “Exorcist” and “Legion of Doom” – both amazing.  “Legion of Doom” is so crunch heavy it’ll melt steel and crack concrete, consider yourself warned.   

If you haven’t figured it out, I kinda like this band and dig their sound but here’s where I’m at with Gruesome:  They’re at the level Obituary is at and Obituary is at the top of their game right now.  And like I said before, Gruesome is just four years old and their grasp of how death metal should sound and the vibe death metal should have, is simply extraordinary.  

Everybody should be talking about Gruesome, they should be the hottest band in the world right now, just saying.  This is where social media and the internet need to figure their collective shit out and do nothing but post Gruesome songs and talk about how great they are.  “Twisted Prayers” is mandatory listening and mandatory for any death metal – check that – any METAL fan, to add to his / her record collection.  If not, I guess you weren’t a metal fan to begin with, eh?

My score:  10 “Living Monstrosities” out of 10.  10 “Killing Sprees” out of 10.  Just buy it…,