Graven return after a five-year hiatus and deliver 30 minutes worth of disfigured, heart-stopping mathgrind on their new EP release, Heirs of Discord.
Comprised of former members of Swarm of the Lotus and Burnt by the Sun, it should go without saying that these gentlemen are more than acquainted with all things chaotic. Elements of metallic hardcore, grindcore, sludge and death metal are melded into a head-spinning, confrontational and discordant sound that will appease masochistic individuals who enjoy being aurally eviscerated. Picking up where 2012’s The Filth Will Cleanse left off, the aptly titled Heirs of Discord is more than eager to provide that aforementioned evisceration. By the time the record concludes, listeners will be picking up their guts and teeth from the floor.
“A Failed Mask” kicks the record off and immediately assaults the sense with a swarm of razor-like dissonance that transitions into a hellacious beating of toxic grind. Bulldozing death metal stylings morph seamlessly into galloping, aberrated grooves within constantly shifting rhythms, keeping the listener thoroughly discombobulated up until the final angular breakdown. The bestial “I Dreamt You Were Dead” follows shortly and showcases a greater focus on the band’s death metal leanings. The song unleashes bludgeoning, muscular riff after the next accompanied by writhing, insectile tremolo-picking that entangle themselves around these displays of death metal supremacy.
“To Ravage and Absolve” capitalizes on the band’s affinity for chugging, dissonant chords and subjects listeners to quite the beating. In between the jagged, Gorgutsian lurches and the bursts of technical, cacophonous hardcore, this particular track proves to be one of the EP’s most violent. The over nine-minute leviathan “Thieves of Rotten Ilk” shows greater emphasis on the band’s more sludge metal influences. The track trudges about with a seemingly endless arsenal of city-levelling, disgustingly heavy riffs that gradually become slower and noisier as the track stomps towards its climax.
With penultimate track “Backwards to Oblivion”, the band offer up the best of both worlds. The blistering track begins with a psychotic rampage of caustic grind riffs and skittering dissonance that veers into thundering, off-kilter grooves and twisted metallic hardcore beatdowns. Much like the song before, “Backwards to Oblivion” gradually slows its pace until its becomes a display of soul-crushing, seismic sludge. The EP is then brought to a close by a cover of Human Remains‘ “Human”, which turns out to be more insane than the original recording.
Graven‘s Heirs of Discord is an ugly, volatile and unrelenting release that faint of heart should probably steer clear of.
Release Date: November 2, 2018
Label: Negative Grade Records
Favorite Tracks: “A Failed Mask”, “To Ravage and Absolve” and “Backwards to Oblivion”
For Fans Of: Gaza, Infernal Coil, Crowpath, Fuck the Facts, Found Dead Hanging and Reproacher