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Grave Forsaken – The Fight Goes On

Grave Forsaken
The Fight Goes On
by Anton Sanatov at 10 May 2016, 4:37 PM

Surprises are not always pleasant. For instance, I've often found puzzling the appeal of a 'jack-in-a-box'; which, whilst possibly stimulating, in its premise appears far too much like self-inflicted neuroticism. Alas, the elements of mystery associated with such a baffling contraption might just be the enticing factor that one seeks from it. And that is why you might go as afar as to compare the play-through - and subsequent evaluation - of a new record to the cranking of the aforementioned apparatus; admittedly the latter statement turned out dirtier than I had anticipated. Of course we could apply the 'box of chocolates' analogy here but that would be too easy - and not to mention, overused. What I am trying to convey here is that when you pick up a new album you anticipate it to posses a certain startling quality beneath the lid. And in the case of GRAVE FORSAKEN's "The Fight Goes On" it is a Doc Martin's wearing, metal plated, mohawk crowned jester who is just aching to bust out of the box and stick that crank to someone else.

"The Fight Goes On" is an unusual one. You need not to have been at large in Thatcher Britain to discern the Punk thematic of this record. As the deep rumble of the bass on the opening title track gives way the good old-fashioned 4/4 battery of marching drums, you can taste the rebellion. Yet "The Fight Goes On" is far from your typical Punk offering. Whilst retaining the intrinsic qualities of the genre, it also possesses a fairly elaborate melodic tonality to it and is not afraid of cutting through traditional structures with shredding guitar solos and alternate tempos. A good example of this experimentation is "There Is No Peace", which, whilst retaining a Punk aesthetic, ventures into the territory of early Thrash very much reminiscent of MEGADETH's "Killing Is My Business…"

To follow up on the latter thought, the suggested semblance to MEGADETH's earlier material is perhaps indeed most appropriate when it comes to describing "The Fight Goes On". For whilst being set on a platform of grave ideals, the curious melodic constituents and the haughty riff-play of such tracks as "Duluth Airbase Intruder" and "Strike the Oppressor" pay a direct homage to the recalcitrant, axe-attack of the legendary Thrash band, whilst at the same time allowing GRAVE FORSAKEN to protrude from the modern day ranks of witless attempts at non-conformity.

GRAVE FORSAKEN are an experienced band and it shows in the music. They know what they want and how to take it. The lyrics may tell the same old story of uprising in a totalitarian regime but they do so with pure devotion and the vocal delivery of Vaughan Gregory is 'Punk attitude' in its purest form. The production is stripped down to its bare bones but that is what this record calls for, and it compliments the material by allowing each of the band members' voices to be heard as free spirits whilst also showcasing the tight musical uniformity of the collective; paradoxical yet acute. Elias Salmela should also be honoured with a mention, for here you have a guitarist who doesn't rely on unduly layered guitar tracks to sound good. Salmela simply loves the feel of metal under his fingers and shreds the tape with enthusiastic riffs and blitzkrieg solos any time a window of opportunity cracks open.

"The Fight Goes On" is truly full of surprises; and is Rock 'N' Roll to the steel-toed boot. Here you have an album by a band who are loyal to the craft and don't need to have it boxed and gift-wrapped to deliver. If you enjoy the raw sentiments of Punk coupled with an old-school Thrash Metal ethic then you better get to cranking…this record.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. The Fight Goes On
  2. There Is No Peace
  3. Politics of Popularity
  4. Four Creatures
  5. Duluth Airbase Intruder
  6. Strike The Oppressor
  7. God Is With Us
  8. Glimpse Of Armageddon
Lineup:
Vaughan Gregory - Vocals
Elias Salmela - Guitar
Matt Skipworth - Bass
Luke Gallagher – Drums
Record Label: Soundmass
     


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