Twisted Prayers is the second full-length release from Gruesome, the band who have set out to basically pay homage to the legendary band Death, from the music, vocals, and even the cover art from the always reliable Ed Repka, it's pure Death tribute for lack of a better term. Their debut album Savage Land from a few years back was actually pretty damn good as long as you can accept the fact that these guys aren't really trying anything new here, and if you are fine with that then Twisted Prayers will give you more of the same. While the debut took things mostly from Scream Bloody Gore and Leprosy era Death, this latest picks up from Spiritual Healing and Human, the music taking on a more technical edge that coincides with the shift that Death were starting to take at that time. There's some terrific material here, such as the punishing "Fate", complete with blazing lead guitar work from Matt Harvey & Daniel Gonzalez, the classic Florida death metal sounds of "A Waste of Life", "Lethal Legacy", and "Crusade of Brutality", and the near progressive metal technicality of "At Death's Door". Toss in covers of the Possessed classic "The Exorcist" and the early Mantas tune "Legion of Doom", and you have a very enjoyable platter of early '90s styled death metal in the style of Death but with modern production values. Gus Rios' acrobatic drum work is superb throughout, and Harvey sings just like Chuck on every song...it's scary at times just how well this band has replicated Death's sound and style.
You're mileage may vary of course; there are going to be those who will surely scoff at this band & album as nothing more than a rehash of a legendary act, yet others who miss Death and all they brought to the table might really find something to love here. With two full lengths and two EPs under their belt, Gruesome show no signs of slowing down their attempt at delivering their Death homage to the masses...I vote that we should let this play out for at least a few more albums and see where it goes.
1. Inhumane 04:58
2. A Waste Of Life 06:01
3. Fate 05:06
4. Lethal Legacy 04:56
5. Fatal Illusions 05:24
6. Crusade Of Brutality 05:37
7. At Death's Door 04:55
8. Twisted Prayers 05:48
9. The Exorcist (Bonus Track) 04:59
10. Legion of Doom (Bonus Track) 03:20