GRAVE
"Enraptured"

(MVD/Metal Mind)

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Not only did Swedish legends GRAVE make a comeback with 2002's "Back from the Grave", but they've also continued to demonstrate that they belong as part of the death metal elite. Following up with 2004's "Fiendish Regression" and 2006's outstanding "As Rapture Comes", the quartet is arguably as relevant now as they were as part of the early '90s Swedish death metal explosion along with UNLEASHED, DISMEMBER, and NIHILIST/ENTOMBED. One need only spend a few minutes watching the band's performance at the Stodola Club in Warsaw, Poland on August 24, 2006, captured on film and released on a DVD called "Enraptured", to get a feel for the power of GRAVE, a veritable death metal institution.

Much like many of Metal Mind's DVD releases, "Enraptured" is a no-frills concert DVD with a total running time of 110 minutes. As I've said in past reviews of Metal Mind (released on MVD in the States) DVDs, keeping it simple by not gorging the DVD with tons of extras and road shenanigans is not a bad thing, but instead is rather refreshing. In addition to the concert itself you get bonus videos of GRAVE performing "Rise" and "Into the Grave" at Party.San Open Air in 2004, as well as the band's video for "Soulless". A comprehensive interview with guitarist/vocalist Ola Lindgren and guitarist Jonas Torndal is also included. As for the show, the quartet performs 16 songs, plus and "intro" and "outro," providing a mix of the old and the new, including "Deformed", "Extreme Rotten Flesh", "Soulless", and newer songs like "By Demons Bred". The band's performance is first rate and the DVD visuals are strong, though not over-the-top by any means. While the audio quality is fine, it could have been a bit better due to a somewhat cavernous sound and a slight lack of low-end. It's not much of a problem though, simply a minor criticism.

The bottom line is that "Enraptured" presents GRAVE as a band on top of its game. The DVD is an easy recommendation for not only fans of the band, but newcomers that would like a representative sample of the act's music from throughout its career.

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