Band: Grave Violator
Title: Back To The Cult
Label: Reaper Metal Productions
Release date: 22 March 2019
Format reviewed: Digital Promo
A dose of GRAVE VIOLATOR is just what you need right now. While they might not be doctor recommended, their take on thrash is among a renaissance of extreme thrash bands that have been coming into fruition lately. Joining the ranks with bands like Aura Noir, Deathhammer, Perversor, and Vornth, these Finnish metalheads have released their first full-length album “Back To The Cult” after several demos and EPs since 2010. The album is full of neck-shattering thrash metal, with many blackened twists along the way. The growling vocals cut through the thrash riffs like a hot blade, setting a much darker tone for the album. Think of it as all the beer drinking fun of thrash metal except this time you’re in a graveyard.
The album opens fast and strong, starting off with a classic instrumental splash overture that quickly disintegrates into ferocious madness. “Back To The Cult” features some blistering solos throughout, embracing several different structures and some interesting placement throughout the songs. “Knife Fighter” and “Forced Flesh” are great examples of this early on in the album, experimenting with some undulating blackened solos throughout several main riffs as well as seamlessly incorporating in more classical thrash solos later on. “Ritual Humiliation” changes things up a bit with a descending old school death riff before again mutating into the fast-paced thrash this album delivers so well on.
One of the surprises on this album comes at the end of the full throttle track “Deliverance” as it bleeds into “Accusations” with a beautifully slow and cutting solo unique to the album. Its’ juxtaposition against the grim fury of the rest of the album gives this song and entire album some lasting appeal. Another song that stood out was the seven-minute “Chamber of Demons”, which delivers a sinister combination of speed and debauchery with some of the heaviest blackened influences on the album.
While this album is clearly thrash foot forward, GRAVE VIOLATOR do a great job in diversifying their songs. Whether it’s the juxtaposition of solo styles through the album or the unexpected addition of a brief spoken word incantation at the end of “Chamber of Demons”, “Back To The Cult” kept me interested throughout the listen. While there are a few moments where the live recording is obvious, GRAVE VIOLATOR give an overall dialed performance across the record. My favorite song off the album was actually three songs “Deliverance-Accusations-Back to the Cult“ in a row with the three songs blending so wonderfully together they might as well be one. GRAVE VIOLATOR has delivered a great extreme thrash experience that will no doubt be receiving some further attention as the months go on. It’s time to go back to the cult, so pack your moshing shoes and check out GRAVE VIOLATOR along the way. 8/10 Metal Yeti
8/10: To Greatness and Glory!
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