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[ALBUM REVIEW] To The Grave: No Lives Matter

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Band: To The Grave
Album Title: No Lives Matter EP
Record Label: Chugcore
Release Date: Out Now
Reviewed by Jeremy Vane-Tempest

Rumours of deathcore’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Note, however, that I’m not saying deathcore is ‘strong’, ‘healthy’ or even ‘viable’. I’m just saying that it’s entrenched in heavy music and it’s not going anywhere.

All of this brings me to today’s topic, the new EP from Sydney band To the Grave, titled No Lives Matter. This is thirteen minutes of the same breakdowns, blast beats and arpeggios that you’ve heard for the last decade. It’s solid insofar as deathcore goes, but deathcore has reached R ‘n’ B levels of ‘this genre is all one long song’, so take that with a grain of salt. I’ve got, to be honest: I had no idea that there were three different songs on it the first time through. It’s, therefore, perfect for those who like their breakdowns thick and fast amidst shoutouts, blast beats and bass drops, but if you were seeking for a more nuanced listen, what the hell did you turn to deathcore for?

No Lives Matter is a prime example of everything that’s great about this genre. The musicianship is sublime, and the songs are tighter than a fish’s arse crack. The mix is incredible and the tone of the guitar in those riffs that glide over the double bass rolls in second track Hearteater makes my heart sing, but To The Grave instantly lose points for calling it Hearteater in the first place.

This segues neatly into the real problem here: No Lives Matter is a monument to of all of the deathcore’s sins. There’s absolutely no restraint in this EP – it’s completely over the top at all times. The opening minute of No Lives Matter (remembering that there are only thirteen in total) is spent building into the opener. That’s fine if you’ve got a forty minute full length to play with, but if you’ve got less than a quarter of an hour, get to the freaking point. As for the EP’s title, taking a sensitive political issue and making a pun out of it is ballsy as hell and smart from a marketing standpoint because people are going to get justifiably angry about it and boom: free advertising. As an aside, seeing the Sydney Harbour Bridge rent asunder by an alien intestine monster on the cover art is equal parts amazing and ridiculous. It’s essentially an artist’s rendition of ‘if The Thing ate a tray of iced vovos’.

TL;DR – No Lives Matter is dumb as hell, but it’s fun as hell, too. Go forth and snap your neck to this.



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