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GraveRipper – Complete Blinding Darkness Award winner

Complete Blinding Darkness
by Gary Hernandez at 26 May 2020, 11:19 AM

How much abusive Blackened Thrash Metal can dance on the head of ball peen hammer? Or in three short tracks on one EP? GRAVERIPPER sets out to answer that question on their debut EP, “Complete Blinding Darkness.” Okay, not their words, just my impression. This fearsome foursome hails from Indianapolis, Indiana (US). They formed in 2018 as DEATH ENSEMBLE and then renamed themselves as GRAVERIPPER in 2019. Said EP was released March 6, 2020. It is a hypersonic blur of primo Blackened Thrash Metal with overtones of Punk and undertows of Death and it is a total kick in the ass.

These lads waste no time getting to the point. Track one, “The One Reborn,” sets the lyrical tone of the album as well as the unrelenting tempo. With a twin guitar assault from Ray Carlyle and Corey Parks, the riffs are both grinding and harmonious. Chris Pilotte (bass) and Kyle Cripe (drums) provide the diesel-powered rhythm section which ranges from blast beat turbo to high octane groove. Corey doubles up on vocals which are raw and driven but also somehow clear. No need to reference the lyric sheet on this one.

Track two, “A Swift Kick To The Teeth,” delivers on its promise. Clocking in at just over three minutes, it is minute shorter than track one and thirty seconds longer than track three. It’s as if the band progressively runs out of patience (or budget) with each song. As the EP progresses, they get tighter and more concise, creating a vibe of brutal urgency. This is a good thing. The third and final track, “Bite Of A Parasite,” is the sonic version of getting punched, hard, in the dark except in this instance you’ll want to experience it over and over again. In fact, you’ll probably want to hit repeat on this short EP and just do a metal Groundhog Day.

I should mention that the production values across all three tracks are excellent. The mix is equal parts loud and clear. No one is hiding behind a grayscape of distortion here, although there is plenty db to go round. All together, “Complete Blinding Darkness” is a flash grenade of Thrash Metal. It burns hot, it’s over quick, and it leaves a searing impression that won’t go away when you close your eyes. There’s a whole revival of badass, legit Thrash Metal out there right now and these guys are like jet fuel on the bonfire.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The One Reborn
2. A Swift Kick to the Teeth
3. Bite of a Parasite
Chris Pilotte – Bass
Kyle Cripe – Drums
Ray Carlyle – Guitars
Corey Parks – Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 28 May 2023

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