EARTHGRAVE - Deathcold

Earthgrave - Deathcold

4 songs
20:02 minutes
***** **


Vocalist Rosh should be well known as the vocalist of deathcore band Arkaeon who who released two EPs in 2011 and 2014. Last year he founded a new band called Earthgrave with musicians from Trier, and it didnít take long for them to release their first EP Deathcold.

Where his former band was involved in a rather technical kind of death metal, things really slow down with Earthgrave, a band that combines the attitude of hardcore music with the brutal ponderousness of sludge and doom metal. Their self-released EP comes with four tracks, and apart from one shorter piece, the songs all make it over four minutes. The six minute opener and title track starts with pounding drums, before the down-tuned guitar joins with skull-crushing sludgy riffs. Roshís guttural vocals owe a lot to early death metal acts, showing an influence of early Obituary but also Crowbar seem to have left their traces. The recording quality is more demo than professional EP, but itís undeniable from the beginning that these guys know how to craft atmospheric sludge death metal. The following The Lake is another six minute monster, following in the footsteps of the opener. The rhythm is exceedingly crawling, turning the music into a slow yet unstoppable juggernaut that leaves nothing alive in its footsteps. The second half of the EP starts with the three minute short Spineless Bastard, a somewhat faster song that turns back the metal impact to leave room for a more hardcore oriented approach. Maybe not as atmospheric as their preceding material, but it is always good to allow for some variety. The EP ends with the five minute long Masked Freedom, another more varied track that next to its sludgy doom sound allows also for some groovy mid-tempo parts.

Deathcold actually suffers at times from the somewhat sub-par sound, but back in the days we used to listen to underground band that couldnít afford overly polished productions. What counts is the soul underneath it all, and there is certainly no lack with Earthgrave. This is a passionate take at blackened sludge metal of a young band that will hopefully rejoice us with more music in the not too far future.

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