Grab the popcorn and first-aid kits because Graf Orlock have returned with yet another feature film of pummeling hardcore titled Examination of Violent Cinema, Volume 1.
After delivering the skull-caving soundtrack to a film the band wrote themselves, Crime Traveler, back in 2016, Graf Orlock have set their sights back on Hollywood for this new full-length release. Examination of Violent Cinema shows the band in top chaotic form delivering their signature blend of cinephile nerdiness, humor, and hyperactive hardcore and grind. The record is simply Graf Orlock doing what they do best.
Based solely on films released in 2017, which include Blade Runner 2049, Brawl in Cell Block 99, and John Wick: Chapter 2 to name a few, Examination of Violent Cinema offers up 12 tracks of hellacious cinemagrind that might very well be an early contender for Best Original Score at the 91st Academy Awards. From the stampeding metallic beatdown of “Back in the Ground”, to the stomping climax of “Almost Human”, the record is a non-stop, riff-happy blockbuster.
Songs such as “Alternate Route to Mexico” and “A Man Named Suicide” showcase Graf Orlock at their most unhinged. The guitars transition back-and-forth between straightforward hardcore assaults and dissonant, angular bombardments fitted with off-kilter drum patterns. The interplay between frontman “Karl Bournze”‘s snarl and guitarist “Jason Schmidt”‘s gruff bark only add to this madness.
“Dominant Species” stands out from the pack with its blitzes of melodic chords and galloping grooves, which ultimately lead to a stagedive-worthy climax complete with blistering guitar solos. “Go Away (to Paradise)” also breaks the mold with a lengthy intro of grimy bass lines and tension-building drumming that pave the way for the guitars’ steady, sludgy destruction.
By the time the credits roll, listeners will be itching to dive right back into the action. Examination of Violent Cinema, Volume 1 doesn’t break any new ground for Graf Orlock, and it doesn’t have to. These guys continue to utilize their trademark, tried-and-true formula and yield solid results. The record is a fun and frantic good time through and through.
Now please make note of how many corny film references are in this review.
Release Date: December 7, 2018
Label: Vitriol Records
Favorite Tracks: “Back in the Ground”, “Alternate Route to Mexico”, “He Jumped Off a Roof”, “A Man Named Suicide”, “Five Star General” and “Almost Human”
For Fans Of: Ed Gein, Cloud Rat, Magrudergrind and Converge