Los Angeles based black metal band Gravespawn is not an unfamiliar name to many in the 2000’s underground black metal scene as that was the rise in USBM bands such as Absu, Averse Sefira, Judas Iscariot and many others including Gravespawn. Re-forged in the Malice of Stygian Fire is actually the re-release and re-recording of their 2005 demo Forged in the Malice of Stygian Fire. Now this was already a killer demo from a black metal band that captured that heavy, dark and satanic black metal sound of the 90’s but this re-recording did the demo true justice as it brought out some areas that originally were unheard until now such as the drums being clearer and the guitars lost the heavy fuzz and vocals are more studio clear.
The album is full of raw, cut throat riffs which are the strong points of this release. The first track Possessed Rites already comes with a killer solo towards the end and each track plays in the right amount of ambient keyboard work that does not overdo it or cross the lines into becoming a symphonic or melodic black metal release. The keyboards fit perfectly to add atmosphere to the songs while the guitars guide them. Nothing about this album is boring or repetitive at all. Each song has a unique, well thought out and played style that Gravespawn has perfected with this release. If you have not heard their 2012 debut Woe to the Conquered, then grab this album and enjoy some true grim USBM how it should be played. Highly recommended for fans of everything from Judas Iscariot to Emperor (old) to Satyricon (old).
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Neil Andersen