Of all the seminal names associated with establishing the hallowed Swedish death metal scene in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s -- names like Entombed, Unleashed, Dismember, and Edge of Sanity -- arguably none has been less celebrated than Grave's. Not for them the recognition of unwavering critical acclaim, nor the respect of widespread historical significance; their contributions are more often than not forgotten and trampled underfoot by the aforementioned more consistent, complex, or simply longer-lasting co-conspirators, and so the bulk of Grave's legacy remains attached to their 1991 debut album, Into the Grave. Ironically, though, as the contemporary first efforts by those aforementioned bands (Entombed's Left Hand Path, Unleashed's Where No Life Dwells, etc.) became increasingly tainted or overshadowed by their subsequent sonic evolutions over extensive discographies (Grave wouldn't evolve so much as deteriorate), Into the Grave has retained a time-capsule-worthy aesthetic simplicity, authenticity and, most of all, purity. Purity is certainly the first word that comes to mind for future listeners faced with the roiling, churning, resoundingly meaty and severely detuned guitar work, kinetic drum work, and bowel-loosening growls presented by the band here. So even if the musical edifices supported by death metal cornerstones such as "Deformed," "Into the Grave," and "Day of Mourning" are perhaps not as tall or ostentatious to the ear as those built by others, without them the entire musical megalopolis that followed would surely crumble -- hence Into the Grave's enduring if oftentimes underrated and subliminal influence upon thousands of future death metal bands, whether the album is credited for it or not.
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia