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Grim Ravine - It's a Long Way Down to Where You Are

Grim Ravine
It's a Long Way Down to Where You Are
by Chris Hawkins at 09 March 2020, 10:46 PM

GRIM RAVINE are a fairly new act coming from Portsmouth, England.  The band formed in 2015 and have previously released a self-titled EP and a full-length, “The Light is From Below”.  The band’s latest release is called “It’s a Low Way Down, To Where You Are,” and within, the band expand upon their Doom/Sludge sound.

The first track, “The Weight is Upon You,” begins with a tremolo-picked Black Metal type section.  Soon, though, the band inserts its forceful, sludgy bravado into the mix.  A blend of clean and raspy vocals helps to prevent any monotony.  What becomes apparent is that the band is attempting to build a bridge between Sludge/Doom and Atmospheric Black Metal.  A girth-filled fuzz tone sets the basis for the sound but is supplanted by intense moments where a bleak blackness is championed.  One cannot help but get the impression that this is a band that relies on a chokingly heavy live sound.  The following track, “Past Decay,” starts with an almost ritualistic sounding beginning section.  The deep bass which forms their tone causes the chords to simply rumble.  One envisions wall shaking, beers falling off amps, and all sorts of mayhem ensuing upon them ringing out some tasty chords.  It’s impossible to speculate what tuning they are using, but suffice to say, it is low.

This is not Doom for the casual fan.  In short, I wouldn’t recommend this to those who may qualify themselves by owning a CANDLEMASS album or two.  GRIM RAVINE have an oppressive sound, not as polarizing as SUNN O)), but not too far from it.  One can get the impression these Brits listened to quite a bit of GRIEF in their formative years.  For fans of bands from WEEDEATER to ELECTRIC WIZARD, though, this will certainly hold a resounding appeal.  The only negative aspect to be had is that the Black Metal sections tend to have a hollower sound than those that reflect their Doom roots.

GRIM RAVINE are surely not trying to campaign for widespread mainstream appeal.  The material in this four-song full length carries an inherent emotive quality akin to being ever so slowly and methodically tortured.  I mean that in the best possible way.  While not the most cohesively appealing album, it packs an atmospheric punch that should broadly appeal to aficionados of the genre when it releases at the end of the month on the 27th.  In the meantime, enjoy the preview of the album below.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Weight is Upon You
2. Past Decay
3. Barren Ground
4. Earth to Dust
Lineup:
Scott Bishop - Bass
Bobby Hill – Drums
Martin Shouler - Guitars
Lewis Cass – Guitars
Gareth Nutbeen – Vocals
Record Label: Hostile Media
     


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Edited 23 January 2021
 

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