The Spanish band Freakhate was born in '05 as a grindcore-band, but on their debut full-length "It Comes from the Grave" the grindcore-element has been reduced to just an influence instead of being the main thing.
The album pukes out 50 minutes of gory, heavy and sometimes sleazy death metal with influences from sludgy doom metal and goregrind. The songs are heavy, mostly mid-tempo churnings with a rough and rugged soundscape and goregrind-styled growl-gurgles as vocals. They have some fast-paced parts as well as downright sludgy parts to create variation, as well as some more distinctive guitar leads, and the riffing and musicianship overall is well on the needed level. The album is dark and sleazy, and the oldschool horror-influences are a pleasing add.
Basically there's nothing wrong with Freakhate, but something just doesn't work under its surface. The album sounds quite monotonal despite it's amount of variation, and feels too lengthy. I would point the fault to the all-out heavy and harsh soundscape that leaves little room for dynamics, making the album feel like one continuous face-beating without breathing pauses even when it isn't true composition-wise. I guess the band's fellows were still somewhat stuck in their goregrind-phase of all-out extremity, which breathes through the album and makes it too heavy and massive to digest. The monotonal vocal section and the lyrics' inaudibility are also a notable factor in the album's lack of memorable moments.
The cover arts are excellent. Black and white collages of zombies, demons and familiar figures fill the pages, and the red colour here and there gives a stylish finish to the horror-blast. The lyrics are not included, but in this case I'd say the song titles are enough to get adjusted to the right mood.
"It Comes..." has some highly pleasing elements and moments, and the band's horror/gore-approach appeals to me greatly. Their job now is to find ways to employ more detail and dynamics into their songs. The band is at their best in the ninth and final song, which has some carefully placed silent breaks with old clips of a man speaking. It doesn't sound like much on paper, but the song has the strongest drive and atmosphere and the most personality in the bunch. If the band's next album is of the same quality as "Alcohol, Crack and Corpses for Satan," it might be a killer. Perhaps the group should use more samples overall, as it might help in deepening the horror-atmosphere.
For fans of gore, horror, rotten oldschool death metal and goregrind.