Monday, 18 January 2021

Gravehuffer - NecroEclosion


Labels: Black Doomba Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 15 Jan 2021


Tracklist:


1. Custom Of The Sea

2. Hellhound

3. Sights To The Sky

4. Death Before Disco

5. Stingray

6. Smaller Than Death

7. Ghost Dance

8. Quarantine War Machine

9. Causes

10. Backpack

11. Madwolf


Back again tonight with another new release from Black Doomba Records (USA) and this time it's the third full-length from Gravehuffer, from Missouri. NecroEclosion was officially released last week and it captures eleven songs of all kinds, featuring thrash, grind, crust and doom along the way. Gravehuffer have been plying their trade in various forms since 2008 and this time they welcome guests from Voidvod, Annihiliator and Nevermore amongst others! 


This is a bewildering album, with opening song ‘Custom Of The Sea’ sounding like some kind of crazed thrash metal sea shanty, spliced with grind and death metal. The deep growls are pretty mean, while the instrumentation is menacing and fast, which, makes complete sense when up next to the higher pitched screams that also frequent the song. The samples Gravehuffer use definitely show that their roots are entwined in grind/punk and ‘Hellhound’ goes by super fast, thanks to it’s really upbeat tempo and gung-ho approach. There’s fun to be had with this record, trust me!


Gravehuffer’s influences stretch far and wide, and on ‘Sights To The Sky’ they come full circle thanks to a guest appearance from Voivod guitarist Dan ‘Chewy’ Mongrain, who helps provide a fantastic solo in a way that only he can. The overall song is dedicated to space and the Apollo mission, as you might have guessed from it’s intro. It’s really good and at times reminds me of the most recent songs from Total Fucking Destruction. From there, things get totally weird on ‘Death Before Disco’, where instead of metal you get an homage to The Bee Gees to start with before Gravehuffer flips the song on it’s head and returns back to their nasty, grinding best. 


It’s over all to quickly and you’re immediately dragged into ’Stingray’, which sees all band members providing gnarly vocals while also thrashing away with some real groove. The addition of a top notch solo from Craig Hecht helps raise the entertainment level up further. There haven’t been many opportunities thus far to hear their doom/sludge chops but ’Smaller Than. Death’ is where it’s at if you like it slow. The band do it really well too as it seems to get slower and slower during the first ninety seconds, before it becomes a chugging beast akin to L.D. 50-era Mudvayne, which is certainly no bad thing. There’s another guest appearance here, courtesy of Annihiliator/Nevermore’s Curran Murphy who adds a solo, which comes towards the end of the song and fits perfectly once again.


The second half of the album comes at you in seemingly no time at all and ‘Ghost Dance’ is a no nonsense rager, but one with an accessible groove, which seems to be a characteristic of Gravehuffer’s sound here. ‘Quarantine War Machine’ is the audible equivalent of what most of us are currently screaming in our heads at this moment in time and it’s just a straightforward smash through that metaphoric brick wall. It’s one of the best songs on NecroEclosion in my opinion. ‘Causes’ is another super slab of silly grind that will make you smile from ear to ear. The added horns from Doug Discharry are a super nice touch as well. 


It’s left to the final duo of ‘Backpack’ and ‘Madwolf’ to hammer home exactly what Gravehuffer is all about. ‘Backpack’ is another bouncy yet angry monster, while ‘Madwolf’, complete with additional horns, is more akin to a hardcore song to start with and is quite stirring, and oddly atmosphere-laden for something so brutal. Despite all of the different genres and bands mentioned above, it’s really difficult to truly place Gravehuffer here, so it’s best to take them as they are and enjoy their music, because they clearly do. I also want to shout out the added vocals of Stan Boman, as I realise I didn’t mention them further up due to not knowing where they slotted into the album. In conclusion, this is madcap but so enjoyable and I’m sure plenty of you will like it.


You can stream and purchase NecroEclosion below:-



Gravehuffer - https://www.facebook.com/gravehuffer

Black Doomba Records - https://www.facebook.com/blackdoombarecords


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