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GRAVEHILL
GRAVEHILL
Rites Of The Pentagram
(Ibex Moon Records)
58:20min

"No fruity keyboards, no emo or fake guttural vocals, no triggered drumming, no lame sub-par AT THE GATES wannabe riffs, no association with the word 'core' or a band name that is a sentence long and no cramming 5,000 riffs with political-themed lyrics." That is the way these Californian deathmongers reveal. It is a direct attack upon the masses of mediocre releases done today... where sheer aggression, musicianship and dedication to the Metal of Death is quite forgotten. On other hands, these words could mean a bluff... but if the execution is deadly, then it is a statement of war. This is the case here. GRAVEHILL is no newcomer, they have been lurking deep in the shadows since 2001, and some of their members have been active way back to the early 90s. So it shows a maturity that only comes through hard battles, dedication and anger in the heart. For an American band to come with this sound, I must add it is also a big and destructive great surprise. Their influences range from AUTOPSY, CELTIC FROST, early DEATH, BATHORY, SODOM, KREATOR, SLAYER and the big list can go on... but then again this can give you an indication of the storm which is imminent. And more important, these angry warriors know how to write killer songs, know how to do killer riff after riff aural essence, and perform their instrument with a deadly precision only seen in rare occasions. I can assume they do their recordings following the rules of the elders, and yet the production is heavy, full, and unleashes the ultimate power. The only minor, and I might state that is minor, is that the vocals tend to sound the same, and need more variation (a variation that, by the way, is used more in the bonus tracks of this release from a former recording). Although I already mentioned their main influences, their blackened style of thrashy Death Metal with screamy vocals are surely to be enjoyed by any respectable Death, Black or extreme Thrash Metal fan. They do a perfect mixture of dark American Death Metal, with the more obscure Swedish sound, and spice it with both early and more recent Black Metal touches, and fantastic Heavy Metal influenced solos. This re-release includes their debut album originally done by Enucleation Records and their EP "Metal Of death". Ibex Moon has done a right choice to let this monster of an album to be available in a more open basis, and it seems they are also handling a special vinyl edition, that yours truly is looking forward with deadly passion. On these times where dark jewels are few and far between, GRAVEHILL offers the ultimate rite, in 14 bloody sacrifices to the pentagram. Great release. www.myspace.com/gravehill666, www.ibexmoonrecords.com

Julián Núńez

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