Friday 11 April 2014

At The Graves - Umbral - EP Review

Umbral cover art

Album Type:EP
Date Released: Mar 27th 2014
Label: Self Released

Umbral - track listing:

1.The Gulf 06:10
2.Umbral 07:55
3.Hive 11:22


At the Graves started in 2008 as a side project to guitarist/vocalist Ben Price's main band Revolta. Handling all instruments and vocals, he recorded the I and II EPs. Then he recruited bassist Andy Schmidt and drummer Joe Jacklin (both from Revolta) to complete the lineup. After Revolta broke up in 2011, they made At the Graves their main band and recorded the Solar album late in the year. Andy left the band a few months after Solar came out (to some critical acclaim), and Billy Carnes from Xozo and Dry Clouds replaced him. They did a tour of the southeast U.S. and released the EP Mercurial in 2013. In late 2013 Adam Weiss replaced Billy on the bass and the band geared up to record a new full-length

The Band Members

Ben Price - Guitars, Vocals, Drums
Joseph Jacklin - Drums
Adam Weiss - Bass


At The Graves are one of Sludge/Post-Metal's best kept secrets. They have released a wealth of awesome material and they are hardly known within the scene. And that is such a shame. If you haven't heard their 2012 album – SOLAR – then I implore you to headover to BandCamp and download that now as it's a brilliantly heavy and hard-hitting album that will leave you an emotional wreck.

But we are not here for that. We are here for Umbral. At The Graves newest EP. 24 minutes of brutal and crushing noise laiden Sludge/Post-Metal riffage. If you're a fan of Neurosis, Isis and Cult Of Luna then you're going to love this.

First track – The Gulf – is a blistering slab of heavy riffs that will impress the hell out of you. It sees the band in fine demented angry form. It's stays heavy through out the 6 minute plus running time. The vocals have a hazy out-of-this-world feel tot hem as Ben chants his way through some dream-like lyrics before unleashing his inner fury onto the world and it's a great listen.

Second track – Umbral – starts off with a singular guitar riff with drums slowly creaking in the background. This track does pay homage to Post-Metal godfathers – Neurosis – with some familiar vocals and riffs but that aside this is another excellent track to vent your anger against the world to. At The Graves show you what they are made of as they leave no stone unturned in laying down some brutal sludge based riffs.

Third Track – Hive – is possibly the main event on the EP. An epic track that shows you why At The Graves are highly thought of within the Sludge/Post-Metal scene. It's a spacey noise-rock driven affair which takes time bringing in the Post-Metal carnage. And that gives you time to admire the fine instrumental work that the band have created here. But don't worry folks, At The Graves show their true selves around the 7 minute mark when the heavy riffs come flying at you from all directions.

Umbral is another excellent release from At The Graves. Most of the credit has to goto Ben Price as he did almost everything here – Recorded, Mixed, Mastered and written the music and lyrics as well. He may off even bought the beers for the band to drink when recording this. A man of many talents.

You can buy this on Cassette Tape from BandCamp or download this on BandCamp Buy Now Download. Check At The Graves out now. You won't be sorry and check out their brilliant back catalogue. There is a wealth of brilliant heavy Sludge/Post-Metal riffs to impress you with.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Check The Band From Links Below

Written by Steve Howe