Recorded, mixed and engineered by A. Vorgaloth at Helheim Studios from March–April 2008. Released on Enucleation Records.
Tracks 1–3: Metal of Death EP
Tracks 4–5: The Avocation of Murder and Suicide EP
I’m running behind this week, on the run up to Easter. It seems somewhat wrong to be reviewing a black metal album in Holy Week, but here we are.
I seem to be on a run of black metal albums these days, in my alphabetical stomp through the yet-unplayed 195 metal CD collection. I’ll be journeying through ‘G’ for the next month or so.
But this ‘G’: Gravehill, is a death/black/thrash metal band from Anaheim, California, USA. This is a compilation album that was put out a couple of years after the band reformed.
It’s a decent enough album, but nothing particularly groundbreaking, which is ironic given that’s literally what you need to do to dig a grave.
In many ways it’s extreme-metal-by-numbers. The first few songs have the production-feel of a slightly modernized Show No Mercy (Slayer, 1983) or Hell Awaits (Slayer, 1985) with some elements of Obituary thrown in there too for good measure.
The last two songs “Murder” and “Suicide” have a slightly different feel. “Murder” reminds me a bit of Gorefest for the most part, until it hits a groove around 2′ 30″—definite headbanging fodder.
“Suicide” sounds like Gravehill have swallowed the Celtic Frost back catalogue. That said the ‘chorus’ sounds like it was lifted from Testament’s “COTLOD” (Curse of the legions of death).
This compilation seems to get better the further down the track listing you find yourself. I’d like to hear some of their newer material, because this early stuff shows definite promise.
Review score: 65%