Missouri’s Gravehuffer have been going about their unhinged business for a while now – their first full-length, Blasphemusic, emerged the best part of a decade ago – carving a niche for themselves without ever really denting the wider consciousness. But I suspect that may all be about to change with the upcoming release of new album NecroEclosion.
As the World staggers from one mishap to another, getting ever closer to spinning off it’s axis, the overbearing feeling of chaos and lack of control fills the air. And that feeling, that zeitgeist, needs a soundtrack. And that soundtrack is surely the scittering, nerve jangling smorgasbord of noise that is NecroEclosion. Never before has a lack of focus sounded quite so apposite…
I say lack of focus because Gravehuffer just don’t know how to settle into a groove. They just can’t. So they flit from mood to mood across NecroEclosion, cherry picking the best bits from grind, thrash, death and punk and forcing them into a sausage-making device of horrifically gargantuan proportions, the resulting mince being a tasty mix of The Dictators, Venom, The Mentors, The Dead Kennedys… you get the picture.
At it’s best, perhaps the corrosive Stingray, for instance, it’s hard to resist. Mixing Motörhead and The Accüsed is always going to win big in this reviewer’s eyes, and Gravehuffer would appear to be past masters at repurposing feelgood nostalgia for the dystopian present. If Gravehuffer’s time really is now – and I’m here to say that I think it is – then they owe an awfully big debt to the ghosts of the past.
That’s not a criticism, by the way. I’ve been listening to NecroEclosion for a few months now and, try as I might, I can’t point a finger at a single weak point in it’s defences. This, despite being rooted firmly in the past, is undeniably the sound of heavy music in 2021. And that sound is good.
NecroEclosion releases on January 15th.