Graves of the Endless Fall take their coffee black, like their music. Formed in 2002, this sextet has just released their first album, a self-titled collection of original songs recorded at the Ensomberoom by Geoff Montgomery and mastered by Neal Parnin at Ozone Recording Co. The result, from the glossy yet gritty artwork to the dark ‘n’ heavy songs, is astonishing. Although I hear that the band isn’t seriously courting labels, the polish on these songs would make it difficult for labels to ignore their presence.
“Pink Skull” is the first inkling one has of their death metal powers, as crushing riffs morph into a touch of thrash before a guitar solo is wedged into the tightly fitting groove. Graves shows their love of the sinister with “We Sleep Moving” and “My Own Personal Black Market Surgeon,” both excruciatingly heavy songs with incessantly pounding drums and hoarse screaming, all recorded and performed without a hint of sludge.
But it’s tracks like the seven-minute “It’s Just A 15 Minute Drive From Logic To Mayberry” where Graves set themselves apart from the happy throng. Here a touch of pop and a dash of Tool-brand prog hedge the midnight, with the band flexing their minds as well as their muscle as three guitar parts entwine into a thorny tattoo. “Revolution of the Downtrodden” exhibits a similar flair for the dramatic, with drums and guitars ominously foreboding the impending doom that leads up to a black metal riff that eventually lightens up into three relatively clean guitar parts that fit like the cogs of a meat grinder.
In addition to the fine, strong songwriting Graves should be applauded for turning a collection of songs into a bona fide album. Extended samples bookcase the album, and some tracks flow out on wispy, spacey sound effects that melt into the next track. Such tricks give a great continuity to the album, despite the variety of hard core styles incorporated within.
Whether they are courting them or not, with three killer guitars, a screaming vocalist, mega-tight rhythm section and songwriting as solid as their playing, Graves of the Endless Fall are destined for bigger things. Hear for yourself at www.gravesoftheendlessfall.com.
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March 21 • The Clyde