Gravehill
When All Roads Lead to Hell

Try as hard as I may, I simply can’t get into California’s Gravehill and their brand of blackened thrashy death metal. Even residing on Dark Descent and featuring an ex-member of Morgion/Keen of the Crow and current members of Exhumed (Matt “Hellfiend” Harvey to be specific, whose recently reissued thrash death project, Dekapitator shares a few  similarities with Gravehill),  they simply don’t jive for me.

Admittedly, my exposure to the the beer, blood and Beelzebub infatuated genre is limited, but the band that came to mind for me if Norway’s Nifelheim. Gravelly vocals, a primal, ’80s take on thrash riffs (Venom, Bathory, the German thrash scene, etc) with occasional spillage into death metal and and a undeniable energy and nostalgia factor.

That being said, when the band do veer into more death metal realms is when I do have some appreciation for Gravehill. The likes of “When All Roads Lead to Hell”, “Pray For War”, with its militant closing march, sturdy “Hell metal Holocaust” or the controlled menace of “Consumed by Rats” just do more for me than the chaotic, squealing, thrash on crack assault presented on the majority of the album. Not that the tracks like “Extinction”, “Unholy Executioner”, “Suffer No Man to Live” and “Devil Worshipper” don’t carry a certain a certain snarling, feral energy or tangible middle finger to much of modern metal, with their looks and production. It’s just that if I want ’80s thrash death metal, I’m simply more liable to reach for the source material. Maybe Dark Descent has set the bar too high with many of their old school death metal releases. Maybe I’m a grumpy asshole. But regardless, two albums in and I just don’t quite see the allure of Gravehill yet

Oh, but be sure to stick around until 7:06 of the album’s closing hidden track “7:06” for Gravehill‘s gnarly take on AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood”. Eat your heart out Six Feet Under!

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 12th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: drowningincorn

    I’m in total agreement with you on the lack of appeal to this bands music. In reading interviews with them they seem like cool, totally dedicated to the old school musicians which makes me want to like them. Despite that, their albums never fail to bore me.


  2. Commented by: Jesse Wolf

    Great review dude. I said the same thing when I heard the cover. Had me rolling thinking about the sfu covers lol.


  3. Commented by: Biff_Tannen

    Much like Nunslaughter, I enjoy the humor, shtick , and ‘metalness’ of the band, but they simply bore the living shit outta me.


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