Graveslave happen to be a jointly Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota-based five piece venture that've caught our ears and attention as of late. They're somewhat consistently active, with a couple of EPs as well as one full-length under their belt (the latter of which may be discussed at a later time), as well as a demo and sampler compilation...all of which were released independently by the band itself. Long story short: it's purely DIY and death metal-oriented with some grindy or techy elements thrown in. And now their second EP titled ominously titled Devotion is upon us as of just a couple of weeks ago. It's five tracks and around 15 minutes of content produced by Adam Tucker, who's previously collaborated with similar artists such as Echoes of the Fallen as well as War//Plague. This one also features artwork courtesy of Gragoth of Luciferium War Graphics.
The overall aura of this release, especially in tracks like 'God of Slaughter' and 'Underworld Connections', is undeniably grindcore in the form of material such as Insect Warfare or the likes. There are certain parts that delve out of the formula and throw in some guitar solo or slamming breakdown action, however. Also, there are certain technical or melodic nuances, such as in the introduction to 'Grotesque Hybrid', and the drumming is pretty standard, despite the oddly catchy drum samples used here. The guitars are the strongest part, with tons of riffs that take the main stage and juxtapose with the chaotic sort of low growl/high shriek vocals. There is some structure here and there, but this one is generally all over the place. The length is fairly short and the production quality is give or take. But, for what it is and what it stands for, it is above the average and A-okay in my book.
Devotion is a brief release that likes to throw about as much dissonance and heavy riffs towards its listeners as possible in the shortest time. Though the grind influences take a backseat for a bit of it near the end, Graveslave manages to mix it up with some added instrumental rampage combined with some technical nuances in addition to the usual grindcore vox in the vein of Cephalic Carnage or Exhumed that mix up low growls with high shrieks. If you've got fifteen minutes to spare, then check this one out for its hectic song structures and unconventional grind elements tossed in if you're into those. Despite some little setbacks like its condensed song durations and odd production quality, this one's a fairly solid EP.
Fave Track: 'Underworld Connections'
**This release is available now here!**
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-Review by: Dave Raffy
Musician, reviewer, fan & promoter
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