Sunday 11 May 2014

Graves At Sea - This Place Is Poison EP (Review)

Album Type : EP
Date Released : 22/4/2014
Label : Eolian Empire

This Place I Poison, tracklisting :

01. This Place is Poison – 6:36
02. Orchid + Lord of This world – 13:13

Bio :

Following a lengthy dormancy, notorious doom derelicts, GRAVES AT SEA, rise again! Now based in Portland and buoyed by a killer new rhythm section, the band will drop the This Place Is Poison twelve-inch EP upon the living this Spring via the volume dealers at Eolian Empire.
Tracked by drummer Bryan Sours (ex-Subarachnoid Space) and Steve Lobdell at Audible Alchemy and mastered by Ryan Foster at Foster Mastering on their home turf, Side A’s “This Place Is Poison” finds the all-consuming, slow-motion sludge for which the band is so synonymous flooding in with a torrent of crusted-over guitars anchored away by swampy bass rumbles and earth-rupturing drums all bathed in the howls and shrieks of the damned. But in shaking off their cobwebs, GRAVES AT SEA have emerged reanimated with a heretofore unheard speed, at least when compared to their syrupy crawl of the past.
On Side B, Black Sabbath’s “Orchid” and “Lord Of This World” get bold re-imaginings: “Orchid” is eroded beyond its essence into a morose march towards death while “Lord of This World” gets a grim reconfiguration with grisly riffs, bilious hisses and a blackened atmosphere that takes the original to a dark, desolate realm of desperation and despair

The Band :

Nathan Misterek | Vocals
Nick Phit | Guitar
Bryan Sours | Drums
Jeff Mcgarrity |  Bass

Review :

Courtesy of Arizona, by way of Portland and all in the name of DOOM, the world has been given another gander at the band known as Graves At Sea. The latest release from the band is a 3 song 12” EP entitled “This Place Is Poison”. This 12” was recently released in a limited run of 1000 pieces by Eolian Empire. I can't comment on the bands earlier work as I've never heard any of it, but I can assure that if you're into Sludge, Doom, a splash of Black Metal and a hint of hopelessness then you'll definitely shit the bed over this EP.

Side A, “This Place Is Poison” is six minutes of fuzzed out swirling guitar riffs, backed with screeching vocals accompanied by growling vocals. Musically, it's quite typical of the Doom genre – tremendous breakdowns, slow grinding points of rhythm and enough filthiness to fuel a tank! Lyrically, I understand very little aside from the line “You can check out any time, but you can never leave”; sounds awful familiar, then again the title is “This Place Is Poison”.

Side B, “Orchid/Lord Of This World”. Of course we know this is a Sabbath cover and what better of a place to put it than a limited 12”. As far as “Orchid” goes, it has very little to do with the original piece; it's just meandering acoustic passages filled with samples from what sounds like old school Hammer Horror movies. If not for the samples, I'd probably write this part off, but those samples add some much needed eeriness and depth for the grittiness of “Lord Of This World”. Here is where the band promptly kick the Stoner/Doom vibe into overdrive, the fuzz is strong, the breakdowns are sexy and having two vocalist with extremely different voices work out nicely adding a new dimension to the tune.

Overall “This Place Is Poison” is nice work for an EP with one original track. Of course most of us have heard Sabbath covered by the best and unfortunately the worst. Graves At Sea does Sabbath justice and gives themselves some street cred for the masses of the underground. Being a lover and a student of rare vinyl releases, I highly recommend checking this out before it's gone.

Words by : Andy Burke

You can get it here