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DIRTY GRAVE
DIRTY GRAVE
Evil Desire
(GrimmDistribution / Satanath Records)
40:57min

PENTAGRAM was one of my first forays into the Doom Metal genre almost two decades ago, and although I can appreciate the 70s and late 90s line-ups, Victor Griffin on guitar is PENTAGRAM to me. I’ve not heard of DIRTY GRAVE before but “Evil Desire” is their debut full length release, having come out last year. You’d associate Brazil more with groups like SEPULTURA and SARCOFAGO, but the chance to listen to some new traditional Doom Metal is always welcome. The band certainly wears their influences on their sleeve, so the best point of reference would be to imagine a combination of all eras of PENTAGRAM and SAINT VITUS. Apparently, the guys recorded this themselves at home, which I didn’t realize until after listening a few times. It’s really well done, and rivals the work of stuff done in a professional studio. It’s thick, balanced and crisp.The instruments are really pleasing to the ear, and Victor Berg (coincidence?) nails his namesake’s 80s tone which is excellent. Throughout the album, there’s at least one or two catchy riffs per song but nothing ground-breaking. The solos on this are really bloody cool too, the guy can obviously play. The drumming is solid and has some interesting fills, but as there’s no drummer credit, am not sure if it’s really well programmed MIDI, or a drummer. Mark channels his inner Liebling with mixed results. Most of the time it’s serviceable and pleasing, but it does descend from homage to parody, most noticeably in 'Until The Day I Die'. He growls from the throat like Bobby in 'Dying World' and 'The Deist', and I unfortunately burst out laughing. I really like the vocals on the closer, 'The Black Cloud Comes' as they sound much more natural. As for the songs themselves, the seven originals and the Willie Dixon cover are diverse in sound and mood. The highlights for me include 'Satan’s Wings', 'Until The Day I Die' (vocals aside), the really atmospheric 'Remorse', and the driving 'You Dead' which is short and to the point. There’s no stinkers on this record, it’s just that stylistically something is jarring about their take on mashing 70s and 80s sounds together. It has enjoyable moments, and I’m really happy that they’re inspired heavily by the 80s PENTAGRAM sound, you can tell they’re really passionate about the music. With a bit of refinement and focus, I think these guys have some real potential to write a killer album and I’m looking forward to the future. You should at least give this a listen and decide for yourself, especially if you’re a fan of their influences. Check it out here: www.facebook.com/officialdirtygrave, www.satanath.com/distro

Stan Stamatopoulos

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