Gravehuffer – NecroEclosion

NecroEclosion Cover Art

Gravehuffer – NecroEclosion
Black Doomba Records
Release Date: 15/01/2021
Running Time: 46:04
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

My lack of creativity to write introductions is nothing new for all the readers of Ever Metal, but today I have to repeat something that I often mention in this part of my reviews. How amazing it is seeing a band’s evolution when I have the pleasure to follow them, releasing albums, since they formed. Of course, Gravehuffer, from Joplin, Missouri, are not a young band and they have very experienced musicians, but I am the lucky guy who has reviewed all of their albums since 2017, and I have to say that Gravehuffer is one of the most intriguing and challenging bands that I have reviewed so far. Let me try to explain what I am saying.

First! “NecroEclosion” is the band’s best album in my opinion! When I discovered Gravehuffer in 2017, with the “Your Fault” album, I thought they were more a Crust/Hardcore band at that time. After seeing some reviews of them, I realized that they played more than just one or two genres. They have a great mix of Extreme metal allied with their roots in Punk/Crust/Hardcore/ or whatever you want to call them. With this album, the band have explored all blends of those genres at their extreme. From Punk Rock to the non-faceless* (I will explain this later) blast beats of good Death Metal. Yes. You will have fun with it at the end of this review!

Second! This is a pure American album in terms of its concept or context. I talk regularly about the pure things of my country, but this time I tried to enter into the head of an American citizen to understand all the lyrics and all of their criticism. Lyrically this is an ocean of interesting themes. The first song ‘Custom Of The Sea’ is enough to understand Gravehuffer’s music. It is about those who stayed at sea a long time during the colonization. Many people went mad and died. Musically, you can hear all the aggressiveness of the band in this song with all the fast broken tempos from good Grindcore that sometimes slows down with a Doom influence. Everything offers an intense and dark atmosphere.

Third! There is the typical acid humor that Gravehuffer always use in the best way, as you hear in ‘Death Before Disco’. It starts with a funny version of ‘You Should Be Dancing’, from the Bee Gees, that shows the wreck that Disco music made of the music industry decades ago. It also criticizes the cocaine stuff involved with those who were part of it. I love the pure Grindcore and heavy killer intro after this creepy, funny parody intro. It could easily put the entire venue down if Gravehuffer plays it live! Still with good humor, the short ‘Stingray’ is more Punk Rock in style, but full of great, small solos. Yes, we have plenty of excellent and different stuff here, and I am not talking about that stuff from Disco clubs, that could make Robocop (with rusty hinges) dance like hell! (That sounds like me when I’m dancing – Rick)

Fourth (if I haven’t lost count). The Doomy side of the band appears in ‘Smaller Than Death’. ‘Ghost Dance’ also keeps the dark feeling, but it has an important message about the mass killing of the Native American Indians in the USA. Despite this song having more of a Thrash Metal sonority, it carries some backing vocals, like the ghost of the Indians ancestors screaming for help to anyone who could stand and fight. Melodies bring the feeling of a ‘last breath of hope’ amongst all the chaos, that sadly didn’t save them from the cowards killing. There are good historical and political facts explored here!

Fifth! After the pure hardcore song ‘Quarantine Death Machine’, that even reminded me of Sepultura in some parts, you get the dramatic song ‘Causes’ that sounds like someone has already given up on his life. We also have ‘Mad Wolf’ that is about a Japanese movie/manga series ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’. And what about Dan ‘Chewy’ Mongrain (Voivod) doing an epic solo on ‘Sight To The Sky’ or the Curran Murphy (Annihilator, Nevermore) ‘Smaller Than Death’ solo? Do you remember when I said about the ocean of different subjects or plenty of styles that the band play?

Last (almost…)! What I love about Gravehuffer is the total open mindedness of them to explore whatever they want. They could easily be called a “Whatever metal / hardcore” band to describe their music. This raw sonority allied with all the insane changes of rhythm and atmosphere they create is the perfect face of Gravehuffer. “NecroEclosion” is the band at their prime with inspiration and composition. They are secure of what they are doing, being audacious and without any fear to try new sonorities and arrangements. It is pure Thrash! It is pure Hardcore! It is pure Grindcore! It is pure Death Metal! It is pure Crust! It is pure whatever you want to call them and it is great!

This review finishes here, but don’t fool yourselves. The non-official truth about this album comes from the next and ‘true’ last paragraph.

*This last paragraph is a joke about bloody reviewers that are so lazy, they fail to understand some band’s sonority and write stupid things without doing any research. The quoted parts are from a review that should have stayed buried!

The band’s music is not even close to being “terrible”. Maybe the “not so hot production” is because the band intended the album to be dark and cold. Do you want hot things? (I will not suggest what you should try in respect of our readers)! Try not to be a faceless reviewer. First, we have a lot of context here, and you haven’t woken your ass up from your sofa to do any research about it. The blast beats are not a “total joke” they are pure and natural, with a huge amount of power…you don’t have the brain to understand what a triggered drum is or isn’t. “No catchy riffs”? No, no, no! Probably, no catchy ears on your head!… “band brought an empty meal to the table on Thanksgiving”! Do you want a full meal for your Thanksgiving (If your diet is not so restrictive, of course)? Try to learn how to understand a band first, otherwise, you can work on another job or hobby. Our Thanksgiving will be better without lazy “reviewers”! Writing reviews just to publish something, without any research to understand is wrong…I guess any person with an “F” grade on a school graduation/exam can do a better job than you! Have a good 2021!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Custom Of The Sea
02. Hellhound
03. Sights To The Sky
04. Death Before Disco
05. Stingray
06. Smaller Than Death
07. Ghost Dance
08. Quarantine Death Machine
09. Causes
10. Backpack
11. Mad Wolf

LINE-UP:
Travis McKenzie – Vocals
Ritchie Randall – Guitar/Vocals
Mike Jilge – Bass
Jay Willis – Drums/Vocals

LINKS:

Gravehuffer Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with GRAVEHUFFER

EMQ’s with GRAVEHUFFER

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Joplin, Missouri, US based Metal/Crust band, Gravehuffer. Huge thanks to guitarist Ritchie Randall for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Ritchie Randall and I play guitar and yell in the background for Gravehuffer. We’ve been doing this band since 2008, under the name KROM. We changed it to Gravehuffer in 2012, due to getting confused with other KROM’s out there. We have two full-length albums (“Blasphemusic”, & “Your Fault”) a vinyl EP (“Demon Face/Stalingrad’s Cross”) and are getting ready to release our third full length “NecroEclosion” on January 15th, 2021.

How did you come up with your band name?

Our friend Dozer came up with it for a band he was going to start but it never got off the ground. We always thought it sounded cool so we asked him if we could use it haha! He said we could on one condition: to give him free Gravehuffer merch occasionally.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re from the United States, in the city of Joplin, state of Missouri. It’s in the middle of the country, often what is considered the Ozarks. The scene here is pretty cool, especially since we’re not too far from even bigger scenes such as Oklahoma City/Tulsa Oklahoma, Northwest Arkansas, Little Rock, Kansas City, Lawrence/Topeka, Springfield, and Saint Louis. Lots of bands hit these cities up when they tour. There are lots of bands in all of these areas and the scenes are all pretty solid and work well together.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

It is a vinyl EP via NoSlip Records called “Demon Face/Stalingrad’s Cross”. It was released September of 2019 on four different vinyl colours (white, smoky marbling, white w/ black splatter, and black w/ white splatter).

‘Demon Face’

Who have been your greatest influences?

Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Ramones, Venom, Suicidal Tendencies, Iron Maiden, Nausea, Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, Motörhead, Morbid Angel, Metallica, Darkthrone, Voivod, the list goes on…

What first got you into music?

Definitely Deep Purple and Judas Priest. My parents were really into them and even named me after Ritchie Blackmore. I saw the cover of “Unleashed In The East” and that’s when I knew I wanted to play music.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Probably Trey Azagthoth from Morbid Angel.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Wacken. It just seems to resonate the most with our style of music, and we all want to go to Germany!

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

We got paid in marijuana instead of money for playing a show once hahaha.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thanks for supporting us all these years and have patience, the live gigs will be back before you know it.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

That’s a tough one. Probably Randy Rhoads.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Playing shows is my favourite part of it for sure. Traveling can get tedious so that’s probably my least enjoyable aspect of it. Even still, the travel can be cool depending on where you’re going.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

The way ticket sales are handled is not the best. Scalpers are still running the enjoyment too. Streaming sites should pay the artists a lot better. It really seems like greed and profit get in the way, but what else is new, right?! Hahaha!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Judas Priest – “Sad Wings Of Destiny”. It’s pretty much where ‘heavy metal’ as we know it was born.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Vinyl. It has that physical aspect you don’t get anywhere else. There’s the artwork that you can get lost in, the vinyl itself can also be a piece of art, and it’s all about the ‘experience’ of the music that is represented the way the artist intended it to be.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Either the time we opened for D.R.I. or the time when there was sword fighting instead of moshing in the pit while we were playing. That was insane! People brought foam clubs, swords, shields, and other ‘weapons’ and just went at it medieval style the whole show! The D.R.I. show was just a blast and quite the large and fun crowd so we were just on stage inspired by all of that the whole time.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I’ve always loved being in nature so probably something to do with conservation. The planet gives so much and we really need to treat it better than we do now.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Rob Halford, Lemmy, Tony Iommi, Devin Townsend, and YOU.

What’s next for the band?

We’re ramping up promotion for the “NecroEclosion” album so that’s taking up all of our time for the next few months. We have three videos in the works, a live stream event, some live play throughs of the new singles, interviews, and booking shows for next year. We have a handful booked already, with one even taking us out of the country.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.facebook.com/gravehuffer
www.gravehuffer.bandcamp.com
www.reverbnation.com/gravehuffer
www.soundcloud.com/gravehuffer
www.youtube.com/krommetal
www.twitter.com/gravehuffer
www.instagram.com/gravehuffer

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

A biscuit, and they are delicious!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thanks again for having me and look forward to hearing what you think of “NecroEclosion”!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Gravehuffer – Your Fault

0008278225_10

Gravehuffer – Your Fault
Reality Impaired Recordings
Release Date: 30/12/2016
Running Time: 30:17
Review by Dawn King
7/10

Not one to shy away from stepping outside my comfort zone, when Ritchie Randall, guitarist with Gravehuffer, approached me to review their latest album, I said “yes” straight away. Having heard tracks played on the station I DJ for, I knew it was not the type of metal I usually go for but that in itself made the review more of a challenge. Could I be impartial about a genre of metal that wasn’t one of my favourites? The answer was simply yes!

Hailing from Joplin, Missouri, Gravehuffer officially formed in 2010, although they originally started out in August 2008 under the name of Krom and Your Fault is the latest offering from this American quartet.

Often described as NWOBHM meets early Earache Records, this is a thrash/grindcore/crust band that seems to have a bit of everything thrown in. On their Facebook page they describe themselves as a ‘Metal/Punk band’ but throw in a bit of thrash, a pinch of death, lashings of hardcore and a spoonful of punk and you’d be a lot nearer the mark.

With eleven tracks totalling just 30 minutes, giving this album a spin won’t take up too much of your time, unless, of course, you get mesmerised by the lure of the album and the songs get stuck in your head! Because they will!

Some tracks are under a minute long, short and punchy, and will make your ears bleed, but this is by no means a bad thing. Your head will be banging from the offset and if it is not rolling around the floor by the time the last track kicks in you haven’t been listening properly. They mix fast Slayer-esque tracks, with vocals even more edgy than those of the big man himself, well with slower-paced, often doomier tracks and musically these guys are awesome. The drumming is tight, and fast, an all-out physical attack on the kit, the bass lines are fantastic and the guitar work is just amazing. Vocally, it’s not something I would usually like, but James’ voice works well with the rest of the band and this helps to produce their unique sound.

This is a high energy, in your face brutal metal album and one that does not let up from start to finish. It is a total onslaught on your ears, a bombardment of drums, dirty guitars and even dirtier vocals, and if this doesn’t have you reaching for the Gravehuffer back catalogue then nothing will.

Great job!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Gravehuffer (4:27)
2. Of Fish and Men (1:42)
3. Kill For Sport (3:12)
4. Dead Peace (0:49)
5. Shut Up and Skate (2:04)
6. Powers That Be (3:14)
7. Destroyer of Worlds (3:43)
8. Death Caprice (1:10)
9. Worms Of God (2:22)
10. Prince with a Thousand Enemies (2:16)
11. Chains Around You (5:37)

LINE-UP:
Larry Deardoff – drums
James Hiser – vocals
Mike Jilge – bass
Ritchie Randall – guitar

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.