Review: Gruesome – Fragments of Psyche EP

By Jaide Alicia

Death metal band Gruesome pays homage to ‘Human’ era Death with their latest release ‘Fragments of Psyche’. Released by Relapse Records, this EP features a cover of Death’s ‘Choke On It’- originally released on their 1988 album ‘Leprosy’. Gruesome adds influence from Death’s fourth full-length album ‘Human’ to add their own twist to the track without drawing attention away from the classic Death sound. Recruited for the recording of this track is former Death drummer Sean Reinert who adds another touch of ‘Human’ influence.  Alongside the cover of ‘Choke On It’, the EP opens with a brand new song, the title track itself, which also features Reinert’s masterful drumming.

Even those unfamiliar with Gruesome that do not know much about the band’s history or their influences listening to the title track ‘Fragments of Psyche’ would surely be reminded of the band Death and the work done by the late and great Chuck Schuldiner. It is pleasing to find that Gruesome’s intended sound is that of classic Death, and that they have pinpointed that sound with excellence. Also featured on the album is a handful of bonus demo tracks, all of which’s final cuts appeared on Gruesome’s 2015 release ‘Savage Land’. These demos provide raw insight into the band’s first ever recordings.

The ‘Fragments of Psyche’ EP encapsulates what Gruesome is about by providing one heavy-hitting original track, one Death cover with a “Humanized” approach, and five demo tracks to round it out. Fans of Death as well as death metal would be well-served by picking up this short but precise and straight-to-the-point 7-song set.

Rating: 8/10

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Record Label: Relapse
Release Date: March 31st 2017

Track Listing:
1. Fragments of Psyche (4:05)
2. Choke On It – Death cover (6:04)
3. Closed Casket – demo (3:50)
4. Gangrene – demo (5:33)
5. Gruesome – demo (4:23)
6. Psychic Twin – demo (2:54)
7. Savage Land – demo (4:17)

Total Duration: 33:06

Gruesome links: facebook | instagram | bandcamp