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Album Review

When British-born actor/director/puppeteer Frank Oz first became the original voice of the Cookie Monster on Sesame Street back in 1969, his comic performances were very G-rated. But ironically, the deep, guttural, growling type of voice that Oz' Cookie Monster performances made famous ended up becoming a trademark of something that isn't so G-rated: death metal. In fact, some headbangers have joked that the Cookie Monster was the first death metal artist. A convincing Cookie Monster growl can be a major asset on a death metal release, and Mikael Aronsson's Cookie Monster vocals are consistently convincing on My Own Grave's second full-length album Necrology. Aronsson doesn't offer any clean vocals on this 2008 recording — strictly the Cookie Monster — which is probably just as well because this Swedish band thrives on cartoonish death metal stereotypes. That means not only Cookie Monster vocals, but also, a lot of lightning-speed tempos (although there are plenty of medium tempos as well), bonecrushing density and highly morbid lyrics (Necrology's song titles include "Exhumed to Be Buried," "Awaiting Death," "Age of Torment," and "Incineration"). The guitar playing occasionally hints at black metal, and thrash metal is a definite influence. But death metal is the main ingredient on Necrology, a blistering effort that has no qualms about using brute force to get the job done. This 2008 recording doesn't break any new ground for death metal; no one will accuse My Own Grave of being the most original band in the world, but their performances on Necrology are certainly inspired and focused. Obviously, music this brutal isn't for everyone; death metal is very much an acquired taste. But seasoned death metal moshers will find Necrology to be an exhilarating, if derivative, footnote in the Nordic extreme metal scene of the late 2000s.


Formed: 2001 in Sundsvall, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

A melodic death metal band that doesn't think twice about dabbling in thrash and black metal trickery now and then, Sundsvall, Sweden's My Own Grave were formed in 2001 by guitarist Anders Härén, bassist Max Bergman, and drummer John Henriksson. Joined shortly thereafter by vocalist Ramin Farhadian, they recorded a first demo entitled New Path/Same Path and, following the arrival of second guitarist Stefan Kihlgren, came another, called Dissection of a Mind, and their first live performances during...
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Necrology, My Own Grave
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