Earthgrave – First Snow of the Final Winter

 Melodic death metal has always been a fun style for me given the obvious points of how there’s the intensity that death metal brings to the table whilst having a solid form to it that enables things like anthems to take form every now and then. Yet, sometimes it can get stale with too many bands driving a certain sound into the ground because nobody knows how to do something different. Even just a little bit of variety can save an album, and that’s something clearly evident with the debut album from Finland’s Earthgrave.

Just having even a slightly Norse-inspired theme can bring enough flair to an album that prevents it from being boring. Is such an inspiration everything but original and come sometimes feel like the idea itself has already been run into the ground? Absolutely, but every now and then there comes along a band that can refresh the palette and provides a nice breath of fresh air. Earthgrave didn’t exactly have my vote of confidence going into this record and it being their debut brought my expectations lower just a little more, but what I was treated with was a pleasant surprise of very solid record with loads of potential. “First Snow of the Final Winter” is a real trip through a mythical blizzard with blood-drenched axes and spears peeking through the snow, and it’s Earthgrave leading the charge with vicious battle cries that truly get the blood pumping. Each song doesn’t do anything fancy to the melo-death formula, but they bring just enough flavor and spice to keep all of “First Snow of the Final Winter” entertaining from start to finish without fail.

Is there room for improvement? Without a doubt, but Earthgrave somehow manages to nail all the crucial areas with this album to bring entertainment the likes of which only melodic death metal can bring to the table. Whether it be a head-banging riff or a straight up vicious onslaught, there’s plenty to be had within the chaos of “First Snow of the Final Winter”.

LISTEN to tracks from “First Snow of the Final Winter” on Bandcamp here.

LIKE Earthgrave on Facebook here.

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