Like a previous band I recommended, Rival Sons, Grave Desecrator was mentioned on this blog, but only briefly, back when we still covered new releases week by week. However, I’m still surprised we’ve never covered them more; after all, they formed in the late nineties, have been pretty consistent in releases (albeit mostly splits and compilations) since their 2001 debut demo, and, in my opinion, have a pretty distinct sound for an extreme metal band today. There really shouldn’t be an excuse for the lack of attention they have.
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If you want to be simple about Grave Desecrator, they’re a Brazilian blackened death metal band, who just released their third album Dust To Lust this past Friday. But this is a band whose music goes beyond that trite genre-tag, as Dust To Lust features a sound that probably owes more to the early black metal bands than the infamous Second Wave. If the album cover—featuring a goat with an upside-down cross branded into its head—didn’t already give you an idea of what I’m talking about, I’ll just say it: Bathory. Not only did the album cover remind me of the self-titled Bathory debut, Grave Desecrator’s relatively lo-fi production and demonic guitar stylings scream this influence. However, the band isn’t just a Bathory ripoff or homage; in fact, the comparisons to that o-unholy of bands essentially end there, as the rest of the band’s sound is backed up by some decent death metal vocals, and a good helping of blast-beats.
While I think that Dust To Lust is a solid album—and it at least warrants a listen if you’re a fan of early black, war, or death metal—I don’t think that it has the songwriting to put it up into 2016’s metal AOTY. A good portion of the tracks sound relatively uninspired, and pretty same-y. This isn’t to say that Grave Desecrator is incapable of good songwriting, as there are some well-done cuts on this album—my personal favorite being the closer track “Perpetual Oath”—but I think that they need to add a bit more variance, or at least some more oomph to a lot of their music.
Again, though, this is worth it if you’re a fan of the genres and bands described. Grave Desecrator definitely has something to offer, though the quality of said offering isn’t completely consistent.