Sunday, July 13, 2014

did you miss the boat on Gravehill?

Gravehill: Death Curse (Dark Descent Records)
The way that I like to think of crud death metallers Gravehill is a bunch of old California thrashers who grew up on Metallica, Exodus and Slayer and all those bands, but with the heaviness and vocals of death metal. I hear a whole lot of psychopath Paul Baloff-era Exodus in the music of Gravehill. It is also possible that I am a wingnut, but my ears are telling me that the album “Bonded by Blood” is in the DNA of this band, or at least, in the fundamentals of this new album “Death Curse.”
First of all, the vocalist Mike “I’m not ok” Abominator channels the spirit of dirtnapper Paul Baloff in several ways: screwloose and a bit too much like a real-life deviant-psycho. He sounds as if he has eaten the microphone and is gurgling the mic in his throat. What does this man have in his throat, a frog, broken glass? He growls from the belly and it sounds like it.
There is a lot of old heavy metal and thrash in those guitar solos. The tone is death metal, the first impression is death metal, the vibe is death metal, but the result is a death metal that is very ear-friendly, thrashy, classic-style. Gravehill sounds like those old slimeball bands that sounded like death, thrash and black all rolled into one in the 80s. Mainly, if you wreck your neck to old, classic metal in the death/thrash/black continuum, whether Bay Area/California thrash, German and Brazilian chaotic thrash/death, this should appeal to you in the low-life Gravehill style. This is too loud for the crowd, and I almost can’t stand it myself, but all my snakes in the kitchen like it so much, oh, well, let Gravehill show you the metal they got.

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