Review: Regressive – Born in the Grave

It were vocalist/bass player Justinas and rhythm guitarist Vytis who formed Regressive in 2008 in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, with the band soon being completed with the joining of lead guitarist Vytenis and drummer Vovan. In the years that followed there were some changes in Regressive’s line-up which makes the current line-up as follows: vocalist/bass player Justinas, guitarist/backing vocalist Vytenis and drummer Vytautas. Regressive plays old school black’n’roll/speed metal and was formed to worship old school bands like Venom and Motörhead. So far, they’ve released two splits, Graveyard Assault together with Gatekrashör in 2010 and Turmoil and Misery together with Spermafrost in 2014, and a collaboration with Infestation, which is a cover of Exhumed’s As Hammer to Anvil, in 2018. In addition to that they also contributed to the Seven Burning Churches – A Tribute to Possessed compilation with a cover of Possessed’s Swing of the Axe. In October last year they released their full-length debut, titled Born in the Grave.

When looking at Regressive’s line-up and comparing this to the line-ups of the bands they worship, there’s one clear similarity: all three bands have, or had (R.I.P. Lemmy), a frontman who not only sings, but also plays bass. Whether it’s just the way Regressive likes to play their music or it being an ode to Lemmy and Cronos or, as it probably is, both of those, it is clear that Justinas’ bass is clearly present on Born in the Grave. In every song on this album his heavily humming bass is clearly audible and in a few songs, such as opener Join Us, The Devil’s Daughter and the title track, it’s even more clearly present with a nicely humming bass riff. Vocally Justinas mainly delivers raw shouts that have a very old school vibe as can be heard in, for example, the title track, Let Me Be Your Whore and The Fear. On some moments he also delivers some other vocals, such as a few screams in The Devil’s Daughter and City Under Siege, an evil laugh in the title track and very low, clean vocals in closing track Return to the Tomb.

So far about Justinas’ contributions to Born in the Grave, on which Regressive’s other band members, guitarist Vytenis and drummer Vytautas, also contributed in very important and nice ways. The sound coming from Vytenis’ guitar sounds very nice on this entire album. Therefore it doesn’t really matter whether he shreds his guitar very nicely, such as in The Devil’s Daughter, The Fear and Return to the Tomb, shreds a bit less, but still plays nice, tight riffs, or shows off with a very nicely roaring solo, which he does in every song on this album, with his solo in, for example, Join Us, The Devil’s Daughter, City Under Siege and Let Me Be Your Whore being accompanied by that aforementioned nicely humming bass of Justinas. Born in the Grave pounds quite heavily for its main part, which for a big part is due to Vytautas’ heavy drums, such as in The Devil’s Daughter, Let Me Be Your Whore and Cults of Death, but also in, for example, Join Us, Chainsaw Maniac and The Fear, with him using the cymbals more in those latter three examples.

Something that’s also really nice about Born in the Grave in its entirety is that everything on this album is clearly audible, while it still has a very nice, filthy vibe to it.

So, are you in for some very heavily pounding old school metal? Then be sure to check this Born in the Grave by the Lithuanian band Regressive!

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