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Gravehuffer – NecroEclosion

by Quinten Serna at 31 October 2020, 12:37 PM

“Experience is the teacher of all things.” Whilst the aging platitude of one of the world’s most notorious rulers is something rarely deemed worth its salt in contemporary conversations there’s something to be said about the ageless wisdom behind its stoic form; and just as the phrase survived and weathered the expanse of time so too has, GRAVEHUFFER, whose members have a familiarity that spans over three decades in length. As the previously mentioned quotation ascribes that wisdom is associated with ephemeral enterprise, where the simple act of living governs growth, then it is itself is inspiring to see the sheer talent and skill the band exemplifies on their newest album, the forthcoming LP “NecroEclosion.”

Nothing of worth can begin without some manner of grand burgeoning, as such the album begins with the track “Custom Of The Sea” whose opening serves as a prelude—both in tone and construction—for the rest of the album. The stereoscopic guitars play divis in both channels but still bring focus to the center during most natural progressions, the exceptions being accentuated sections in the left channel. The song itself sounds as an encomium and a beckoning Poseidon. “Hellhound” begins with a constant rhythm in the right channel and accentuations from the other strings and drum set; where its predecessor had a possessed the feeling of suspense in conjunction with a buildup, this song goes for the aggressive and direct approach, assaulting your sensations nearly as soon as it begins. “Death Before Disco” begins as a partial rendition of “You Should Be Dancing” by the BEE GEES featuring reworking some of the instrumentation and insertion of brass, all of which takes places before the song starts in full signaled by the guttural utterance of: “boogie.” The song itself is a powerhouse for speed and aggression, an unhindered front for raw energy. “Ghost Dance” is built upon a marching rhythm which modulates slightly for the pre-chorus and chorus. However, the outro completely separates itself from the rest of the track by cutting a path in a distinct and unexpected direction, slowing down considerably and ending on a chant. “Mad Wolf” is without question my favorite track on the entirety of the album, not only does it detract significantly from the modus opernadai of its preceding tracks but as well possesses an intricacy shared between all instruments and a natural sense of progression and return. The ending delivers unto the listener an unforgettable cacophony of exacting tension.

The instrumentation is both the greatest asset and most alarming shortcoming of the album, where within the walls of torrential sound the overall tone is that of unease and tension, a great motif set in motion by the band however the clarity and distinction of each instrument—other than the voice—is nowhere near as resolute as the album’s immediate predecessor, “Your Fault.” Perhaps the effect lies in the bass whose tone is oversaturated with highs and mids akin to PETER STEELE in reference to distortion but not depth.

NecroEclosion” is an odd and particular amalgamation of different genre ideologies and techniques all managed under the same roof; the writing feels as some of the best that the band’s ever done, but the sound is unbalanced, jarring, and difficult to focus in on. For anyone with an interest in some of the more raw elements of Thrash or Death Metal

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Custom Of The Sea
2. Hellhound
3. Sights To The Sky
4. Death Before Disco
5. Stingray
6. Smaller Than Death
7. Ghost Dance
8. Quarantine War Death Machine
9. Causes
10. Backpack
11. Madwolf
Mike Jilge – Bass
Jay Wilis – Drums and Vocals
Ritchie Randall – Guitars and Drums
Travis McKenzie – Vocals
Record Label: Black Doomba Records


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