Record Label: Greyscale Records
Release Date: October 21, 2016
Reviewed by Jeremy Vane-Tempest
There was a point a couple of years ago where Graves was playing every single local hardcore show in the country. Seriously, every single one. Then they completely dropped off the map a couple of months about a year ago. It turns out; they disappeared to record their debut full-length album, Monster. This album lives up to it’s rather aptly named title, being a complete beast of a record. While it’s not particularly inventive, it is a standout within the confines of its chosen genre.
Deathcore isn’t the right way to describe it either because it’s way too metal to be hardcore and way too hardcore to be metal. The breakdowns, the 4/4 circle pit drums, the shout outs – it’s enough to make a Nile fan vomit. Having said that, the instrumentation, especially the guitars, is ridiculous. Animals as Leaders would kill to lay down some of those ingenious chops. There’s a fair amount of ‘that’ kind of hardcore – you know the kind, don’t play that game – but it’s so expertly juxtaposed by the thrash aspect that it’s more than forgivable; it’s downright welcome. The best way to describe Monster would be the heaviest metallic hardcore record you’ve ever heard. Think Trapped Under Ice if they let themselves do open palm mutes once in a while.
Opener 506 sets the tone of the album straight away, but Monster is perhaps best personified by Ratface. This track is a two-minute visceral, confronting scourge that is guaranteed to have scout halls and pubs bouncing around the country until the next album cycle. Album closer Empty is also a standout, its militaristic beat ensuring that Monster crushes your skull right to the very end while still indulging in some djent shenanigans. Overall, it is a solid debut forged in the fires of relentless touring. If you don’t mind shows with a balanced blend of leather, spikes and snapbacks atop crew cut scalps, you’ll dig Monster.
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