You may not have noticed, but we had some nasty technical difficulties at our site today, thanks to an update from the company we pay to keep our server from becoming infected with malware (created by among the lowest forms of human life), said update disabling our ability to edit and publish new posts. I’m normally a calm, patient person. Today, for hours, I felt violently unhinged.
Ironically, the principal casuality of this bizarre takedown by our paid protector was a band whose music actually provides the kind of cathartic release that might have prevented me from trying to throttle the throats of the people who caused this mishap if they’d been within reach of my clutching fingers. Listening to Graveslave‘s album one more time tonight, I feel calmer. It is Sick/Nasty, and as you will discover, it is sick and nasty — but it holds other delights as well.
Not too long ago we premiered a video for a song from the album (“Slit Throat and Garrote”), a video that you still shouldn’t watch before you eat, or after you eat, unless watching someone being strangled with their own intestines improves your appetite or your digestion. But oh man, what a body-mangling, brain-twisting song that is. And it’s not the only one on the album that will beat you senseless and simultaneously shoot you up with more wattage than Old Sparky used to deliver to its wretched riders on their way to the great beyond.
This Minneapolis-based death metal band have a lot going for them on this debut album, and I don’t mean just the guest vocals of Cryptopsy’s Matt McGachy on the opening track. Although that opening track is a goddamn terrifying experience, thanks in part to the vocal madness but thanks also to the slow, remorseless, blood-freezing viciousness of the music.
Graveslave deliver the horrors of the slaughterhouse in sonic form, but they’re also capable of sending you into the atmosphere on the back of a supersonic missile. While the opener is a doom-stricken miasma, the follow-on track (“Human Fluids (ooze)”) give the band a chance to show off their formidable technical chops, along with a display of their own highly demented forms of vocal madness. It’s a maniacal, often frenzied, but still razor-sharp onslaught of crazed death metal malevolence.
Yet the band have a deft sense of when to pull back on the throttle, and the dynamism of the songwriting is part of what makes this album such a thrill ride. It’s definitely not a non-stop maelstrom of obliteration. That slithery, soulful solo in “Human Fluids”, which transforms into a face-melter, is probably all the evidence you need. But more evidence lies ahead.
In a nutshell, this is an utterly wild, technically pyrotechnic, stunningly brutal fireworks display. It combines thuggish skull-cleaving with eye-popping explosiveness, slow, sinuous sensuality and gruesome morbidity, and solos that will make you drool. It makes sense that they turned to someone from Cryptopsy for a guest appearance, but that band is clearly only one of many influences.
Tremendously impressive stuff — and I hope you enjoy the hell out of it, whether it keeps you from strangling a motherfucker or not.
Sick/Nasty was recorded by Ian Frand at Juices Studios (with drum recording by Adam Tucker at Signaturetone Recording), and it was mixed and mastered by Christian Donaldsen (Cryptopsy) at The Grid. |
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