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Early Graves - Red Horse

Early Graves
Red Horse
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 29 November 2012, 8:03 PM

Like a kid’s bad mouth that needs washing, like an animal spewing the guts of its defenceless victim, similar to man beaten to the brink of death, there rides the red horse that with its raw shaped form imitates the skeletal horse of the reaper himself coming to cast his taking ritual on lost souls. You might think of several other hazy and disgusting descriptions but none wouldn’t prepare you for the obscenity laying ahead like the intestines of a road kill. I have heard about EARLY GRAVES a few years ago but I never took the time to actually listen to them. Their musical idea is rather interesting as they have been playing a raw but varied style of Thrash / Death Metal meets old school Hardcore meets untamed Punk and slight glimpse to Noise. Think about OBITUARY along with THE ACCUSED and NOFX skirmishing each other in a wild Death match in a rotting arena. Recently I was offered to review their new album, “Red Horse”, via No Sleep Records. This album also presented a sort of a saddened landmark as the band’s original vocalist, Makh Daniels (R.I.P.), a while back died in a car accident. That event paved a new road for the band and they brought over a friend of their from the band FUNERAL PYRE named John Strachan to fill in gap made by Daniels’ too early demise. However, after listening to this release it seems to me that there are more holes to fill than one, or this band, can chew on.

In general, I think that EARLY GRAVES have a fine potential as a band with a mixture of musical dimensions even with their wild kind of attitude and “not give a fuck about anything or anyone” swagger. “Red Horse” is an abomination of a straightforward menace punching through a wall while ignoring the bone fractures and high amounts of blood flowing. Throughout the material there has been simplistic speedy riffing urged to slaughter in the spirit of raw Thrash, old school type of Death Metal and crazy ass Punk skids. The vocals seemed smeared all around the tracks, sometimes rather hard to distinguish what is being babbled about with such tremendous ferociousness. As angry as the vocals, the rhythm section continued and answered accordingly. EARLY GRAVES smacked hard and fast but in overall the large computation of the material sounded blurry, too crispy like an overly well done stake utterly hard to digest, exaggeratedly raw to the verge of high tendency noise and I can go on and on about the slurry production. I had my heart for “Death Obsessed” as it developed to be a rather multifaceted and articulate Alternative Metal / Hardcore bombnation ready to detonate. Right from the build up intro that asserted the heavy continuance, that number served its purpose pretty well. I also had a thing for “Days Grow Cold”, which was the catchiest song of the album, and displayed a true Crossover vibe of the deathly category. “Red Horse” and the closing competitor “Quietus” had also some interesting stuff to offer yet with that dependable inflammation was sometimes too hard to bear.

Honestly, I thought that this album would go downward spiral after their first two tracks, “Skinwalker” and “Misery”, that as if forced me to stay away as if it wasn’t the right place for me but I didn’t falter and kept going through the miasma. I found some fine material within the tracklist but I just wish that the production would have been clearer and organized other than burned out and unprocessed. With the emergence of a new vocalist, maybe a slight attitude adjustment would do well for these guys.

3 Star Rating

1. Skinwalker
2. Misery
3. Days Grow Cold
4. Red Horse
5. Apocolyptic Nights
6. Death Obsessed
7. Pure Hell
8. Quietus 
John Strachan– Vocals
Chris Brock- Guitar
Dan Sneddon- Drums
Tyler Jensen- Guitar
Matt O'Brien- Bass
Record Label: No Sleep Records


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