GRAVE DESECRATOR, Cult of Warfare and Darkness (2003, Ketzer)
Oooh, scary ritual skull. This slightly out-of-focus picture kind of looks ancient, although the bullet belt is likely circa 1985 or so. There’s also a silver pentagram that looks like it would make a bad-ass necklace charm, and the two candles burning liven up the party. The skull? He’s all “Don’t you dare steal my evil thunder, you candlestick, pentagram and bullet belt.” Looks like he’s mounted on the candle holder, which is pretty awesome. The cover itself would be a little more awesome if it weren’t an idea that you’ve seen a zillion times before. I’m guessing that the unoriginal cover idea is going to translate to the music inside…
I couldn’t be more wrong!!! Grave Desecrator play RHCP-style pop-funk, dressed up with dubstep bass throbbing and progressive folk whimsy, while hints of skronking jazz rock serve as well-placed segues. Nah, of course it’s orthodox black metal that you’ve heard a zillion times before. If you own Sarcofago’s excellent I.N.R.I., listen to that while simultaneously listening to Darkthrone’s A Blaze in the Northern Sky, and you’ll basically get Grave Desecrator. Two songs, 10 minutes, which makes the plagiarism at least tolerable.
— Friar Wagner