For Fans Of
Graves manage to stand out in a genre that’s typically over-abundant with generic, cookie-cutter acts. That in itself is saying something. Yes, ‘Pestilence’ has its fair share of breakdowns, the obligatory track featuring a guest vocalist and all the other staples you’d find on any other release within this style. But, a large focus on heavily groove-infused riffs coupled with striking, sincere aggression largely contributes to what sets the band apart.
Speaking of genericism, the biggest drawback with this album would be the intro track. There’s just no reason to open an album with a minute-and-a-half long breakdown. It makes for a really bad first impression, and only serves to detract from the experience. An album like this should open with serious impact; not a boring, drawn out breakdown that serves no purpose whatsoever. Not that most breakdowns do serve a purpose, but the point stands: Breakdown intro tracks are terrible.
With that out of the way, the rest of the EP is really a great effort overall. The band maintains a strong forward momentum throughout all five tracks (not counting the indifferent opening track) and the aggression does not let up.
As mentioned before, the riffs on ‘Pestilence‘ are incredibly groove-oriented. Taking the sound in this direction provides a satisfying take on the style and pays off well, giving each track a nice pulse and rhythm. The drums set a good backbone for these rhythms by utilising simplistic passages, but never stand out.
The vocals, while not especially flashy, are worth noting. Singer Rhys Benn implements a powerful, brutal roar that, coupled with the musical accompaniment, makes quite an impression.
A solid debut from a band clearly on the rise. Worth a listen.
‘Pestilence‘ isn’t a deep or thoughtful EP, but it isn’t supposed to be. It’s supposed to be aggressive, driving and heavy, and in that regard it delivers. If you’re looking for thought-provoking music, look elsewhere. However, if you just need to cut loose and break stuff for 20 or so minutes, ‘Pestilence‘ might just be what you’re looking for. Honest, raw and enjoyable.
2. The Deceiver
3. Death Dealer (feat. CJ McMahon)
6. Black Air