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Earthen Grave : Dismal Times

Earthen Grave sounds like a trashy version of early Trouble with an electric violin. In other words, the origins of the sound might largely come from the following fact: Former Trouble bassist Rob Holzner and concert violinist Rachel Barton Pine are both in the band. In fact, as far as I can tell the only part of the music which cannot be explained by that namedropping is the additional thrash metal influence. However, I would claim that the music retains too much of the pre-'Trouble' Trouble's doom/NWoBHM to be labeled "thrash/doom metal", which is the label the band put on themselves. Having said this, the music isn't as copycat as it might sound. The familiarity is strong, no doubt about that, but still something quite unique.

The most unique contribution is that by the electric violin. Even more special is the occasion since the violin isn't always used to create the melody. It's just as often used as a part of the groove, alongside the riffing from the guitars. (As if two guitars weren't loud enough on their own!) With this Earthen Grave do for the violin what Apocalyptica did for the cello; proving that a guitar could well be replaced by a violin when playing loud, fuzzy, head-banger metal. With this in mind I do not consider it any surprise at all to find that Rachel is indeed not just a devoted metalhead, but has in fact been playing metal on violin for a whole fifteen years. Moreover I have to agree on her statement that playing electric violin in a loud band is a top-notch experience, even if I say that as the listener.

While we're mentioning the qualifications of the members it is also worth noting that guitarist Jason Muxlow also play for the acclaimed The Living Fields and drummer Scott Davidson used to play in the cult traditional metal band Stonehenge. Clearly this is an experienced bunch, and while the music does retain some of that garage feeling, the experience is none-the-less reflected in the music. Truly a must have for any fans of mid-paced doom metal with a true affinity for head-banging.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Dismal Times
2. Life Carries On
3. Burning a Sinner
4. Death on the High Seas
5. Relentless

Duration : Approx. 29 minutes.

Visit the Earthen Grave bandpage.

Reviewed on 13-05-2010 by Arnstein Petersen
Hate Your Guts Records
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