Grave Spirit - Beast Unburdened by Flesh - (8/10)
Published on February 17, 2018
Formed by two thirds of the new(-ish) Los Angeles death metal band Draghkar (who released one hell of a demo at the beginning of 2017) and one of the driving forces behind New Jersey black metal titans Death Fortress, Grave Spirit is a new black metal project that just dropped their debut recording through Iron Bonehead Productions. Beast Unburdened by Flesh is a two track EP that was released as a limited seven inch, and if the nine minute introduction to Grave Spirit contained within is any indication, this band is going to take off.
The two tracks on display sound deliciously old school, merging the morbid sounds of Mortuary Drape with an appreciation of both the second wave and the occasional passing nod to old school death metal. It’s impressive that Grave Spirit is able to constantly twist and contort their sound to yield such a monstrous description give that the entire offering is only nine minutes long. The general feel is raw and decidedly old school, with churning riffing and pummeling, blasting drums. Shifting from the buzzsaw tremolo that begins “Absorbing the Essence from Underneath” into a wall of primal, concrete death metal riffing, and back again, Grave Spirit is able to switch gears at the drop of a hat, and have the transition sound natural. The title track offers more trem-driven barbarity, though its constant mid-paced dredging and gravel-laden growls sound far more subterranean in scope.
The members of Grave Spirit have clearly tapped into something fantastic here. Though it’s only two tracks and less than ten minutes in length, I’m completely sold on what these guys are doing. With a superbly decrepit and raw production job by V. Kusabs (Vassafor/Diocletian), Grave Spirit sounds more like a band that’s reached their later years of curmudgeonly hostility than a fresh-faced newcomer. Time will tell how this barbarity will translate onto a long player, but, judging by their initial output, we’re all in for a treat.