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Spiral Grave – Legacy of the Anointed

Spiral Grave
Legacy of the Anointed
by Gary Hernandez at 02 October 2021, 6:39 PM

SPIRAL GRAVE is a Doom Metal band out of the US Mid-Atlantic. This region is well known for their heavy heritage (CLUCTH, DYING FETUS, EARTHRIDE, ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY, etc.), so it’s not surprising that the legacy is continuing. Out of the ashes of IRON MAN and LORD, this foursome has released their debut full-length album, “Legacy of the Anointed,” in July 2021 on Argonauta Records.

Vocalist Screaming Mad Dee is also a dark fiction author and many of the songs on “Legacy of the Anointed” reflect this predilection for the dark side. The album, for instance, leads off with “Nightmare on May Eve (Dunwich pt. 1)” which retells Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror.” Thematically, though, much of the horror that SPIRAL GRAVE depicts is more man-made and existential in its nature rather than eldritch or arcane. Perhaps it’s a cliché to point to 2020 as the perfect storm for that type of subject matter, but yeah, it’s hard to ignore.

SPIRAL GRAVE is not sludgy Doom, but rather a faster tempo assault. Dee’s vocals are also clean and soaring. Combined, this makes for a less extreme and more palatable metal. Something guitarist Willy Rivera says he was aiming for after his time with LORD. The result is pretty solid. There’s no acoustic intros or synth saturated interludes, just piledriver riffs and a 70’s-esque aesthetic. Think SABBATH and TROUBLE.

The album runtime is just over 45 minutes, comprising eight full tracks. Standout tracks are “Nightmare on May Eve (Dunwich pt. 1)” which features such an incredibly cool locomotive riff. Very Stoner, this one. Easily the best track on the album. Track three, “Out of My Head,” is reminiscent of TROUBLE’s “End of My Daze” but clearly is its own animal. “Your Enemy’s Enemy” has a nasty hook and delivers a cautionary well-heeded tale. Rounding out my list is the final track, “Abgrund” (trans: abyss). Here Dee suggests that perhaps the greatest of evils may actually be residing within us: “In this abyss – I’m the abyss – I’m what is staring at me.”

SPIRAL GRAVE is one of those bands that has a longer track record than their discography reveals. It comes through in the maturity of their songwriting, the cohesiveness of their rhythms, and the fluidity of their phrasing, riffs, bridges, and breaks. In short, these guys aren’t new to the game and at the same time they aren’t desperate to prove any points. They are consistent and even and play to their own agenda. “Legacy of the Anointed” is an impressive start to what I hope will be a long run.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.  Nightmare on May Eve (Dunwich pt. 1)
2.  Modern Day Golden Calf
3.  Out of My Head
4.  Nothing
5.  Your Enemy‘s Enemy
6.  Walking Talking Dead Man
7.  Tanglefoot
8.  Abgrund
Lineup:
"Iron" Louis Strachan – Bass
Jason "Mot" Waldmann – Drums
Willy Rivera – Guitars
Screaming Mad Dee – Vocals
Record Label: Argonauta Records
     


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Edited 25 October 2021
 

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