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German-Italian offensive Graveworm return with a keyboard-laced melancholic metal meltdown on the 10-track COLLATERAL DEFECT. This sextet's blend of murky death metal and elegant Goth rock simmers in a cauldron for perfection, as tracks like "Bloodwork" and "Fragile Side" rock with the likes Katatonia while their death 'n roll prowess shines through on "The Day I Die" and comes complete with black metal rasps and atmospheric ambiance on "Scars of Sorrow". Retaining its black metal indentity while utilizing new sounds, the only drawback on this disc is the band's spirited cover of "I Need A Hero", clearly a rally to garnish commercial attention yet ultimately falling too far into cliche to be considered worthy. Fear not, as the enchanting instrumental "Memories" more than makes up as hints of xylophone and acoustic guitar cap off a raucous ride across metallic boundaries.
- Mike SOS