Gravehuffer: An oasis of originality…..

Gravehuffer - NecroEclosion

Nowadays metal is often seen as a desert of homogeneity, where it is rare for an oasis of originality to pop up. With this in mind, the out-of-the-box style of Gravehuffer that comes from the small city of Joplin, Missouri is, ironically given their name, a breath of fresh air. A monster of Frankensteinian design, its component parts include crust-punk, thrash metal, grindcore, death metal, and other surprise elements. Although they have 10 years under their belts in this guise (plus three as thrash outfit Krom), individual members have known each other since the late 90s, which makes for clear-cut chemistry music across their three releases. This third, the vividly titled NecroEclosion, sees a band pushing both themselves and the envelope.

First spin through the record is a whirlwind from start to finish, and each track takes a unique path of their blended formula. Some, like Causes and Quarantine Death Machine, lean on the band’s clear love for their crust. Others, such as Ghost Dance and Hellhound, bring on catchy yet rumbling death-thrash. Others still (cf. Mad Wolf and Death Before Disco) throw in brass instrumentation – including interpolating You Should Be Dancing by The Bee Gees. Because why not? On the vocal front, since the departure of lifer James Hiser the band have taken up the mantle collectively, in an overwhelming display of versatility.

Their influences look like a dive bar’s wall, plastered in posters of Aus-Rotten, Napalm Death, and Nausea next to Morbid Angel, old school Mastodon, and Voivod. Speaking of Voivod, NecroEclosion provides a chance for Gravehuffer to work with their heroes, as Dan Chewy Mongrain provides a ripping solo on Sights To The Sky, and Curran Murphy (Annihilator, Nevermore) tears up Smaller Than Death. On a more abstract level, the band’s surroundings of small-town Joplin also inspire their work, «though recognizing that a lot of the times, it’s in a negative light unfortunately», says guitarist Ritchie Randall. «Religious upbringing is a huge part of the town, so that does play a large part in shaping how we filter and process what goes on around us». He also name-checks the working class roots and forested landscapes as other subliminal yet significant parts to their sound, which results in a sound that goes far beyond their genre peers.

NecroEclosion is it’s full of thrilling moments, and never dulls despite repeat spins. The production values have also ramped up from their last effort, an area that bassist Mike Jilge and Garry Moore honed in on. In short, Gravehuffer are on their A-game, and fans of metal, punk, and grind must give them a listen.

Gravehuffer are:

Travis McKenzie – vocals

Ritchie Randall – guitar/vocals

Mike Jilge – bass

Jay Willis – drums/vocals

Track listing:

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 Death Machine

9. Causes

10. Backpack

11. Mad Wolf


About Ulf Backstrøm (7405 Articles)
Mitt hovedfokus er musikk som er basert på progressiv tenking. Jeg er på ingen måte ensporet innen musikksmak, i likhet med intensjonen bak prog. Sjangerbegrepet er egentlig temmelig uinteressant annet enn til å gi en pekepinn om hva slags musikk det er snakk om i en anmeldelse. Jeg søker god musikk for å utfordre meg som lytter. God musikk til å trigge mine musikalske smaksløker, og til å sette i gang mine refleksjoner. Da er sjansen stor for at jeg utvikler meg og lærer, noe som bør være drivstoff for et hvert menneske. Fordi det å lære og utvikle seg er noe som tilfører livet en nødvendig porsjon "krydder". Slikt krydderet finner man blant annet i musikk. Ikke overraskende mener jeg at progressiv musikk har den fineste "smaken". På den annen side kan musikk med eller uten progressive elementer være godt nok til hverdags. Til fest derimot holder bare rendyrket prog! Må jo også få med at jeg rimelig kritisk, og jeg mener at det lages mye prog som er i beste fall uinteressant, og faktisk mye som er pinlig dårlig. Heldigvis oppveies dette av ekstremt dyktige aktører som for eksempel: Flower Kings, Mostly Autumn og White Willow, for å nevne noen tilfeldig valgte.
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