It is always nice to hear a metal album that bends the rules of genrefication(I’m coining that word right now!) rather than conform to them. That is just what Italy’s Barbarian does with their new album Cult of the Empty Grave. This is an epic heavy metal album that fluently blends elements of thrash, traditional metal, and black metal.
We have been told our whole lives to never judge a book by its cover, but this is an album. If you were to judge Cult of the Empty Grave by the Barbarian that has taken throne over his collection of bones as he is seemingly impervious to the flames that surround him almost as if he is playing battle by the rules of “NBA Jam” and because he killed three enemies in a row he is now on fire, what would you expect to hear? DAMN RIGHT! SOME REAL FUCKING METAL THAT KICKS ASS AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THIS ALBUM IS! This is not some bullshit metal that just happens to have a cool album art, this is the real deal.
Prepare yourself for war because the second you put this album on you are going headfirst into the Cult of the Empty Grave because this is a journey of absolute metal. There is nothing that falls short of being the epitome of true metal on this album. Each track has the feeling of NWOBHM but presented with an undertone of some speedy black metal. Imagine if you were to fuse Iron Maiden with Hellhammer, that is close to what you get when you listen to Barbarian. For a similar example of Barbarian check out the band Throaat.