As a metalhead, there are certain things that I love: I love the sound of guitars wailing, the double bass kicking, and the primeval almost inhuman growls of a lead singer tearing us a new one vocally. However, when I sat down to listen to the new GRAVE RITUAL album – Morbid Throne out October 30 via Dark Descent Records – I found that this band should reconsider their sound and get with the program.
Don’t get me wrong, these guys have a lot of potential, but I would much rather have a railroad spike driven through my temple instead of listening to this album again. To be completely honest, I don’t know where this band thinks they are going. I heard their debut album from five years ago – Euphoric Hymns From the Altar of Death – and that was mediocre at best. After listening to Morbid Throne, I realized that this band needs three things: a decent sound mixer, a metronome, and a time signature.
The sound is way off. Throughout the album, there were many times that I couldn’t even hear any true vocals, just an unintelligible primal growl. It was a good growl, but I couldn’t tell if there were words with it or if he was just growling the whole time. Not only is the sound level off, but the timing is horrible. I can’t tell if the drums are dragging or if the rest of the band is rushing. Someone teach these kids how to keep a beat for Chrissakes. Also, I have never heard a band with no distinct time signature. I learned how to read and write music by the time I graduated high school, and when it comes to figuring out how many beats are in a measure, these guys are literally all over the place.
As I said earlier, GRAVE RITUAL has serious potential, but until they tap into that and get a few kinks ironed out, they are one to avoid, Captain’s orders.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Autonomous Death”, “Adversary Crown”