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Gravastar - Genetic Genesis

Genetic Genesis
by Matt Coe at 30 October 2014, 11:35 PM

Taking their name from an astrophysics object that is hypothesized as an alternative to the black hole theory, I struggle to find a lot of background information regarding this Melodic Death Metal quartet GRAVASTAR. Greece appears to be their home country, but I have no idea of their formation year or if this is their initial release. So it’s really time to dig in deep and discuss the music and product at hand.

Splitting the album down the middle, you get 8 regular tracks of moderate 2-5 minute length, and a closing  “Ever After” number that is an enormous 33 minutes, 39 seconds. The latter cut has a semi-Viking like approach, the guitars and keyboards often dancing along in unison. This song drones on and on… and on, repeating a lot of the same chord combinations and riding that one trick pony for a long time- while Leo screams his heart out. “Starseed” starts off promising through SOILWORK –like keyboards and a steady, steamroller riff – but then the open snare hits and Leo’s one dimensional vocals carry this song straight into the ground, and not in a promising manner.

Their use of keyboards gives songs such as “Dark Energy” and “Embracing Nebula” an avant-garde, semi-gothic feel – and I did enjoy the almost MOONSPELL oriented talking vocals during the early part of the latter cut. Overall GRAVASTAR struggle to maintain my interest because most of their tempos plod along in a similar manner- and the band prefer to ride a lot of riff combinations without thought to hook retention and audience engagement. So I think their Melodic Death Metal moniker is a slight misnomer- I would say they have more of a Doomier/ Atmospheric approach to their proceedings, and the keyboards play as prominent a role as the guitars.

I can hear that they are trying to do something different, but the execution needs more polish and refinement for them to move up the ladder of public acceptance.

2 Star Rating

1. Singularity (Intro)
2. Starseed
3. Dark Energy
4. Dreaded and Haunted
5. Embracing Nebula
6. Leda
7. Infinite Light
8. Model of Insanity
9. Pulsar
10. Ever After
Leo – Vocals, Guitars
Thanos – Guitars
Elias – Bass
Zaxos – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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