The Lurking Fear - Out of the Voiceless GraveAn interesting anecdote I saw told was a fine–art professor’s first exercise with his Master’s students. He shows them a Jackson Pollock painting, and asks them to write why it is good. After receiving the wonderfully pretentious responses, the professor reveals that the “Pollock painting” was actually his apron from his studio, hopefully teaching the students that there may be more to judging good and bad art than feelings. The Lurking Fear aims to channel this analogy into the realm of old–style death metal, hoping that listeners will hear their debut Out of the Voiceless Grave and marvel at this unearthed gem of the early 90s.

Being a supergroup featuring Tomas Lindberg, Adrian Erlandsson, and Jonas Stalhammar (among others), The Lurking Fear aims to look resolutely backward towards the green pastures of Death, Master, Autopsy, and Nihilist for their riffs. This makes for short songs, a whole bunch of thrash beats, and a healthy dose of crust enveloping the proceedings. Voiceless Grave wants to sound familiar, to trigger the nostalgia for the great metal of old while making it easily digestible at the same time through flawless musicianship and a hearty, well-rounded production.

As far as individual songs go, “Tongued with Foul Flames” is a winner, but it reminds me much more of Disfear and The Great Deceiver than classic death. “The Infernal Dread” seems to represent what The Lurking Fear was trying to achieve with the whole of Voiceless Grave, compellingly merging rollicking crust with early Dismember and a gnarly Autopsy worshiping bridge that’s simple and effective. Many other songs, as curious listeners will doubtlessly find, have plenty to enjoy in them as well, as there aren’t any real clunkers on offer here.

The Lurking Fear 2017

Given the sheer skill of the members involved, the competency and enjoyment don’t come as a surprise. Hearing these largely concise and well-written songs is a treat, but the old death metal is more of a facsimile than anything. This is a problem for a record billed almost incessantly as classic death metal, which is the curve it is to be graded on lest we embrace the “death of the artist” nonsense. This is all too structured, too meticulous, too perfect and too aware of itself as throwback instead of a freestanding project to stand a chance in the old-school arena. It’s fun enough, but it lacks that inimitable imperfection of the classics. Perhaps it’s due to vision, or more specifically the lack of a meaningful one. This sounds like a bunch of hyper–competent musical overachievers trying to emulate instead of create and quickly becomes rather a tasty comfort food. Voiceless Grave isn’t vital in any sense, and misses the point that Master and Autopsy were not trying to create “old-school death metal” on their great works; they had a musical vision and saw it through with blinders on. The Lurking Fear have a vision, and it’s celebrating old-school death metal by making something like it; they’re not, and this is crucial, following their own muse but merely imitating those of others. This is especially obvious in the core of the record, which is very similar to At the Gates. The songwriting appears to follow patterns well familiar to the members (their own muses) infused with the ideas of others to spice it up. It’s like a ready–made solution to writing songs in a new vein, and while not wholly objectionable overall it is outright inimical to greatness.

Voiceless Grave is a good imitation, but no more than that. It succeeds in being easily enjoyable and bringing nostalgia to the forefront, which as everyone knows is the most appetizing worm to critics next to “breaking the rules” or “innovation.” This record will be well-received and a lot of people, myself included, will enjoy its charms. Yet to call it anything more than “good” is folly because it’s not in the same league as its influences. More an “interest project” than a “passion project,” The Lurking Fear is an outlet for impulses that wouldn’t have made any of the members the important and influential figures they are today. Perhaps past victories are a fine excuse to rest on one’s laurels a bit (however competently), but that doesn’t mean we have to pretend Voiceless Grave is great because The Winterlong and At the Gates were. A fun but limited romp, it’s easy to like Out of the Voiceless Grave but much harder to recommend it for those looking for a true heir to top-tier classic death metal.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Century Media Records
Releases Worldwide: August 11th, 2017

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  • Nathan McCain

    The album art looks like an tilted version of The Ominous Circle’s latest. And I think I’d much rather listen to something with that kind of fire and inspiration.
    Great review as always, and happy day off to all my fellow Ontarians!

    • Jesushkristmas

      Looks like a close up of saturnalia temples last cover you mean as I’m sure its the same artist.also…the Pollock story…that just proves that art of that kind is garbage lmfao.just like that who where they spent a week teaching non artists to paint a certain style then brought in art collectors to bid on them who couldn’t tell…art is about the name not the talent for art dummies like that lmfao.

      • Brutalist_Receptacle


        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          I wonder how many used aprons he sold.

          • Brutalist_Receptacle


          • Master of Muppets

            Every time I look at this I laugh far harder than is probably acceptable.

      • Nathan McCain

        I see the resemblance to the cover you referenced. Not my favorite art style, but people seem to like it fine

      • Yeah, that kind of art is garbage when someone practices it TODAY. Same with pictures in Monet’s manner, which you can buy for 10 bucks on every market square in the summer.
        What makes Pollock important is that he boldly introduced new language of artistic expression, (namely dripping), and he was FIRST. That’s why his works costs millions and that’s why calling him great it’s not the matter of taste, but objective knowledge of the history of art. So, to a certain degree you’re right saying that “art is about the name”. But it’s essential to know what’s behind this name.

      • Nukenado

        Art can’t be completely objective, and it can’t be completely subjective. Pollock was great for being first, not the objective technicality or such of his art.

  • JL

    Eh this is at least a 3.5 possibly a 4. 3 is not accurate.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      Terrific comment. You really showed them.

    • Godometalic

      Agree.its sad when a reviewer can’t see past his own shortcomings and understand the actual intent behind the creation of a band and record like this. Amazing lp,there’s not much like this going on at all these days.but then this site is more for stones our/nickleback type bands these days…

      • One of the most ridiculous comments in site history. Congrats.

        • AlphaBetaFoxface

          I haven’t been on the AMG rustlin’ grounds for a good long time, Steel. What happened to running a tight ship? You better get this shit under control lest I file a complaint. I am prepared to give AMG two stars on Yelp; don’t fuck with me.

        • Ivan E. Rection

          3 strikes; reviewers have shortcomings? (i.e. you don’t agree with me). There’s not much like this these days? (retro DM, yeah, it’s a brand new thing). Stones our? (great band that Stones our).

        • Name’s Dalton

          I died laughing at your response. Well put.

        • basenjibrian

          When I read Diabolus, I immediately think primarily of Justin Bieber, DJ Khaled, and Drake, myself.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          king of fleshgod apocalypse?

      • Nathan McCain

        Not much like this going on… I thought we only reviewed death metal on AMG?

        • [not a Dr]

          I thought it was only power metal…
          I don’t know what is and what isn’t not anymore!!!!!!!!!

          • Nukenado

            Wasn’t this site Angry Metalgaze Guy?

          • basenjibrian

            Angry ______Core Guy.

      • Grymm

        Who are “stones our”?

        • basenjibrian

          Well, that is a problem right there.
          As this site is all about “stones our”, your very confusion about this amazing heavy metal band means that you are no longer worthy of posting or even READING this site. Take yourself of to Pitchfork forthwith!

          • Grymm

            Is that with the singer of Slipk not?

        • sir_c

          I think he was talking about the Stones Hour. You know, when you get Sticky Fingers & such

      • Nukenado

        Great, so… what was the actual intent…?

      • The Unicorn
      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Yeah bro you should like totally take your business elsewhere! That’ll learn them!

      • herrschobel

        i tell you ONE thing and that only once: ॐ om̐, oṃ, ओम् om, औम् aum; ओंकार oṃkāra … are we clear on that ????

      • Master of Muppets

        Such insight, very wisdom, much objective.

        Can’t tell if troll or tool.

  • Iain Gleasure

    Well at least it wasn’t a philosophy intro. Right guys?

    • Name’s Dalton

      But it was quite the philosophical review. Well done.

  • Don’t want to judge the album before hearing it in full, but I do hope the imbedded track is not the best on offer here. As a huge fan of ATG and the Crown I will probably buy anyways – hard to complain about well executed death metal featuring Lindberg – but was hoping to be a little more blown out of my chair than I am by this.

  • a glass o’ milk

    This is one of those cases where I agree with the general criticism and yet still enjoy the hell out of the music.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Awesome introduction Diabolus!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    That analogy about the painting shits me to tears. The butt hurt professor ‘tricks’ his students into believing his painting smock is a famous piece of abstract expressionism. What he’s trying to prove is that there is no difference in value or merit between his smock and abstract expressionism painting. The only real truth in the analogy is that the professor’s smock is probably the most interesting thing in his studio lol.
    Other than that good review I’ll have to check this out due to the big names in this project…

    • Dead1

      This album is just another pointless nostalgia trip in a genre that’s increasingly a pointless nostalgia trip.

      “The butt hurt professor ‘tricks’ his students into believing his painting smock is a famous piece of abstract expressionism.”

      Only coz you’re a post modernist lefties progressive from that “cosmopolitan” unAustralian shithole Sydney that would actually be improved if the Norks nuked it.

      Even the dumbest bogan dickhead on the planet would look at a Pollock and think “fuck mate, my 3 year old could do better than that shit.”

      Modern art is a waste of time concocted by talentless stoned progressive hacks who are just a waste of space and generally a burden on society. Scrap the dole, scrap arts grants and tell the cunts to get a real job.

      Some of my favourite of examples of how shit modern art it is:

      1. An unmade bed
      2. A white dickhead pretending to be an Aborigine doing donuts in a government funded Rolls Royce
      3. A batman toy on a coke can
      4. A giant rock weighing several hundred tons.
      5. Breast cancer tissue trapped in melted plastic.
      6. Casts of vaginas
      7. A Koran that’s had the guts ripped out of it and replaced with a rock
      8. Photos of midgets with no pants camping. You can see their midget dicks,
      9. A goldfish bowl on a chair with a knife and real live gold shit in it.
      10. A machine that produces human shit.
      Then there’s anything by dickheads like Pollock or whatever shit Lars Ulrich spends millions on.

      No wonder Western society is on the verge of going the way of the Romans. Fucking Islamists do better art than that shit above.

      • Dead1

        I forgot the couch spray painted black with what looks like a burnt tarp on it. The description said it was something about how the artist felt like a woman in modern society and other feminist clap trap..
        Get the fuck out. It’s a couch sprayed black with a burnt tarp on it. Art my arse.

        • ToddRob64

          Dude, chill.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          I think it’s great that youre so into art!

          • herrschobel

            the man IS ART ! and we are mere playing pieces in his ongoing performance art piece …

      • herrschobel

        hey there is a song that was made with you in mind…it´s by a band called Idles…it´s called Stendhal Syndrome…check it out matey !

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      His overall point was that art was better when there were more rigid or “objective” standards, and that even highly trained people are susceptible to making wildly bad mistakes us rookies/plebs/philistines would when evaluating certain types of art despite that being their whole field. On the other hand, the beauty of something like Michelangelo’s Pieta sculpture is evident to everyone and likely even more so to professional artists themselves.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        I think you use the analogy well in your review.
        My issue is more with the Mr Professor who in his youtube clip, where you can watch him making the analogy. Which he thinks is all revealing of the stupidity/Fakenewsness of all modern art. However the only thing it really reveals is that he is a jerk.
        I bet you he does the same little boorish parlour trick every year with his beginner students. And I bet he thinks gotcha!! when he (using his power as teacher) ‘fools’ young students into making commentary on a slide of his painting smock, which he then haughtily mocks them for making.
        You could do a similar little trick where you show a bunch of students a slide illustrating an example of the highest of all forms of art. A marble statue of a nude dude athlete. Then ask the students to describe it’s majesty… Then next slide BOOM!!! Losers!!! its just a guy painted white standing on a bucket and you fell for it because you’re all suckers and have been fooled by the lies of classicism and need to learn that art is really all about black spray painted couches!!!
        Shit is that the time! Gotta run, I need to deliver my invisible air sculpture to the gallery!!!

  • Innit Bartender

    Great intro, as usual!

  • Death_Black_Metal_Fanatic

    I agree with the review. Serviceable, even enjoyable old school death metal worship, but nothing that makes this a “must buy”.