Not one to shy away from stepping outside my comfort zone, when Ritchie Randall, guitarist with Gravehuffer, approached me to review their latest album, I said “yes” straight away. Having heard tracks played on the station I DJ for, I knew it was not the type of metal I usually go for but that in itself made the review more of a challenge. Could I be impartial about a genre of metal that wasn’t one of my favourites? The answer was simply yes!
Hailing from Joplin, Missouri, Gravehuffer officially formed in 2010, although they originally started out in August 2008 under the name of Krom and Your Fault is the latest offering from this American quartet.
Often described as NWOBHM meets early Earache Records, this is a thrash/grindcore/crust band that seems to have a bit of everything thrown in. On their Facebook page they describe themselves as a ‘Metal/Punk band’ but throw in a bit of thrash, a pinch of death, lashings of hardcore and a spoonful of punk and you’d be a lot nearer the mark.
With eleven tracks totalling just 30 minutes, giving this album a spin won’t take up too much of your time, unless, of course, you get mesmerised by the lure of the album and the songs get stuck in your head! Because they will!
Some tracks are under a minute long, short and punchy, and will make your ears bleed, but this is by no means a bad thing. Your head will be banging from the offset and if it is not rolling around the floor by the time the last track kicks in you haven’t been listening properly. They mix fast Slayer-esque tracks, with vocals even more edgy than those of the big man himself, well with slower-paced, often doomier tracks and musically these guys are awesome. The drumming is tight, and fast, an all-out physical attack on the kit, the bass lines are fantastic and the guitar work is just amazing. Vocally, it’s not something I would usually like, but James’ voice works well with the rest of the band and this helps to produce their unique sound.
This is a high energy, in your face brutal metal album and one that does not let up from start to finish. It is a total onslaught on your ears, a bombardment of drums, dirty guitars and even dirtier vocals, and if this doesn’t have you reaching for the Gravehuffer back catalogue then nothing will.
1. Gravehuffer (4:27)
2. Of Fish and Men (1:42)
3. Kill For Sport (3:12)
4. Dead Peace (0:49)
5. Shut Up and Skate (2:04)
6. Powers That Be (3:14)
7. Destroyer of Worlds (3:43)
8. Death Caprice (1:10)
9. Worms Of God (2:22)
10. Prince with a Thousand Enemies (2:16)
11. Chains Around You (5:37)
Larry Deardoff – drums
James Hiser – vocals
Mike Jilge – bass
Ritchie Randall – guitar
Originally posted on Ever Metal
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