. Satanath Records

Reviews: SODP084

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An American band formed in 2004, playing a melodic form of Black Metal. It reminds me of mid period GEHENNA, some EMPEROR and some bits of early ENSLAVED too. And this comes with a very good production, and also a very good performance. The sound is also quite good, it is not too polished, yet it has a raw edge not sounding too noisy. The overall result turns out to be atmospheric. Maybe the drums tend to get lost a bit in the fast parts, but that would probably be my only complain here. They have a very strong guitar sound, something rare in this kind of more atmospheric Black Metal. And also the riffs, yes, there are many here, like the main riff in 'Thy Gates Ablaze'. Also the vocals are quite good, they show in the same style a variation here and make things sound more interesting. Also I can hear a good old school Thrash Metal influence, which I think the band should use more, as it makes them sound better. Although this is announced as a MLP it is well over 30 minutes so you really get your money worth. This is one of the few bands that know how to use keyboards on a small dose to overpower the music and not making it like a fairy lullaby. After a few listenings I can say that fans of second wave Black Metal with a definitive updated twist, great musicianship and killer composition, will surely find this one interesting.





This is the latest EP from Gravespawn, a black metal band from the US.


This is cold, malignant black metal that draws influence from the second wave era and successfully and authentically produces five songs of enjoyably grim orthodoxy.


As a side note – it’s worth mentioning, I suppose, that at 33 minutes in length this EP is actually longer than some albums.


Keyboard highlights are used to include more layers in the music. These are done well and highlight and add to the main blackened feast rather than overshadowing it. Subtly done in many ways, the keyboards add a lot to the music despite, for the most part, not taking a central role.


Frozen riffs and icy melodies speak of foreign landscapes and unknown constellations, while the singer rasps out ancient hatreds and foul incantations. The songs are well-written and enjoyable, with good riffs and melodies used. The structuring and flow of the music is such that the 33 minutes passes by in flurries of darkness that pass the time quite easily.


The singer has a decent snarling rasp for a voice. His ugly screams fit the music perfectly and convey his passion and ability well. He has charisma to his voice. His aggressive screams are joined by cleans here and there; performed well and sounding quite grim in their own right, I like the inclusion of these in the tracks.


With a sound and songs that make me quite nostalgic for the 90s black metal scene, I’ve found Inexorable Grimness to be a very satisfying and pleasing listen. This will no doubt get some regular rotation on my playlists in the future and I heartily recommend it.


Favourite track: Oath of the Annihilator. Quality black metal that builds to an emotive and effective apogee.






Out today November 21st 2016 is ‘Inexorable Grimness‘ by Gravespawn via Symbol Of Domination Productions and Vae Victus Productions.


A well produced black metal album,’Inexorable Grimness‘ by Gravespawn ushers a ancient grim black metal style where classic fans of black metal will enjoy and some songs are catchy enough for others to like it also.


Although a shorty, the album is available on CD today and available for streaming on Bandcamp along previous releases.





Давно понятно, что музыку, рожденную на одной земле одним народом, в наше время может играть кто угодно с любых уголков земли и в некоторых случаях даже дать фору прототипу. Даже в австралийских прериях можно с легкостью найти пустошь скандинавского холода. Это, конечно же, я не имею ввиду данную группу (тем боле она не из Австралии), но подобное, согласитесь, случается. Хотя чего таить, викингам Gravespawn из Лос-Анджелеса получается вполне неплохо развивать традиции европейского севера, хоть и с более комфортным подходом.


Фэнтезийный блэк с уклоном в пэган вполне себе сделан качественно, развлекая голову какими-то традициями Средиземья. Ненавязчивая, легкая симфоника делает музыку эпично-сказочной при очень теплых, низко жужжащих гитарах, от чего даже немного нагоняет скорби. Гитары, наверное, все-таки и являются самой выделяющейся частью всех композиций. В обиходе в основном доминируют плотные риффы, выстраивая своим звучанием несложную, но запоминающуюся мелодию. Возникает даже чувство, что вдалеке можно услышать хоровое пение рыжеволосых борадачей в рогатых шлемах. Также на восприятие хорошо способствуют вовремя распланированные переходы на откровенный симфо-блэк или около-трэш. В таких моментах очень хорошо выделяются вокалист и ритм-секция своими скрепяще-звенящими воплями с ударами.


Как я понял, "Inexorable Grimness" - это предвестник новой полноформатной работы, ведь предыдущая уже пропала где-то в 2012-м году. Но лично я бы без зазрения совести вывел его в отряды лонгплеев, хотя бы исходя из длительности звучания. Да и сама работа очень-очень крепка!





I got this Ep the same time as i got the "Infirmos Vocat Deus Fidei" 4-way split so these two releases was my very first time i heard Gravespawn....first before more research i was about to start the review saying this was one of the best new black metal bands from USA but then i saw they or him should say as it started as a one man project have been active since 2004(had already 3 demos, 1 album and one split under their belt)...so yeah felt a bit dumb there hehe.


Anyhow back to the music! The sound is a unholy mix of grim medieval grand black metal that could just as well have been released in the mid 90´s BUT that glorious history does not swallow them up instead they continue on that hateful legacy with pride and integrity!

As i said in the start this is the only music i have heard from them so they might sound different or is not as good as now but this Ep (and the split that is just as great!) is worth hunting down!


Really strong and quite varied melodies and atmospheres, the guitars compositions is filled with strong tunes and the drums is  fierce and the bass is filling the night air and the raspy vocals round things of just right! Production is solid i think... i also got some strong Drowning the Light - From the Abyss vibes here! And that is a great thing in my book at least! This is a cd that will spin many moons here in the crypt.


A very tight and engaging release that encapsulates the great ancinet evil!

...and i look forward to the next release a whole lot!





This is a very interesting EP forged in solid black metal coming from USA. All tracks have obvious references to big names from the north of Europe, in 90s, but these guys have a very particular perspective of dark arts and painful guitar riffs.



Coming from L.A. California, this is a band that has been active since 2004, and has released various demos, a split production and one full length album. This is black metal music with a necrotic stench everywhere. You can hear very well-conceived compositions with tons of “epic” elements, primitive guitar riffs, some walls of keyboards, and explosive musical structures. Of course they know about this musical genre, and they have good taste by mixing distinctive stuff here and there. Also, they created truly metallic hymns with “folk” elements and “epic” lines (example, the song “Scribes of Forsaken Lore”). This is a band that knows what they want musically speaking, and it seems like they don’t want to add anything to the cauldron, they simply created good stuff with personality and matured ideas. It’s another good underground band to keep an eye on it.




Данный релиз - это большой шаг вперед в развитии коллектива. Язычество и паганизм - хоть и довольно распространенное явление в блэк-метале, да и альбому "Inexorable Grimness" не удалось выйти за какие-то рамки, но тем не менее, теперь творчество Gravespawn не переполнено кустарными веяниями в записи, а риффы вполне себе ласкают слух и легче воспринимаются. Что меня радует больше всего, так это отсутствие ломающих мозг соляков и пренебрежения клавишными партиями. Если первого в музыке практически нет, то вторые имеются в полном объеме, но они грамотно отделены от гитарной риффовки неторопливыми проигрышами или просто сопровождают их красивым фоном. Отличительной чертой группы также служит мерзостный скриминг, очень похожий на молитвенный псалом какого-нибудь языческого обряда. Иногда скриминг сдает позиции, оставляя место чистому вокалу, который больше похож на пение пещерного мага, но, слава богам, это происходит не так часто, хотя кому-то, возможно, подобные вопли и придутся по вкусу. Но главное, что в большинстве случаев альбом имеет очень мрачный, магический оттенок, без какой-либо примеси нежности и гламурного мракобесия. В целом, если ты любитель погружения в транс, и тебе нравится ловить воображаемые молнии, то эта музыка как раз для тебя, но для эффективного получения удовольствия в нее надо очень внимательно вслушаться. Также этот миник в самый раз подходит для того слушателя, который любит погружаться в фэнтезийный мир на долгое время. Вообще-то 35 минут общего звучания - это уже полноформатный альбом, но раз музыканты решили окрестить его как EP, то тут уже не придраться.





Ako izostavimo uvod, prvi rif u prvoj pesmi me je podsetio na album ''Stormblast'', norveških ''Dimmu Borgir'', kao i ostatak materijala na ovom EP-ju. Posle nekoliko slušanja sam na listu asocijacija dodao ''Covenant'', ''Troll'' i rani ''Borgnagar''. Dakle, lako je shvatiti da sam pred sobom imao tipično zvučno oživljavanje skandinavske blekerske škole devedesetih. To je i dobra i loša stvar: dobro je iz prostog razloga što taj zvuk nosi određenu dozu nostalgije za vremenom kada sam tek otkrivao taj žanr, a loše je to što zvuči kao dosta sličnih bendova koji su radili sličnu stvar.



Američka black metal scena, a kojoj Gravespawn pripada, poprilično neguje taj stari zvuk – kada su mnoge njihove evropske kolege prelazile na „komercijalne“ pruge, Ameri su se držali ''proverenog'' recepta. E, sad: ono što imamo na mini albumu ''Inexorable Grimness'' je lep skup uprošćenog belekeraja sa solidnom produkcijom, odličnim klavijaturama koje popunjavaju ne preteranu inventivnost gitarskih delova i polupromukle-vrišteće vokale. Glavni vokali su katkad potpomugnuti čistim deonicama i gotovo pa horskim višeglasjem. Što se gitara tiče, sve se svodi na konstantno sviranje rifova kao da su akordi, a boja distorzije je takva da usled takvog okidanja žica dobijeni zvuk asocira na zujanje. Sa izvođačke strane je posao odrađen veoma dobro, dok je sa kreativne ne baš previše kreativan. Bas, nažalost, nema prilike da se iskaže, jer mu je jačina poprilično tanka, a boja anemična. U par momenata se može čuti da ima potencijala koji uopšte nije iskorišćen kako treba.



Pesme su ujednačene i po kvalitetu i po konstrukciji: razlike su minorne i, ako ih ne slušate sa punom pažnjom, delovaće vam gotovo indentično. Oni koji vole taj stari, beskompromisni zvuk će ovaj detalj smatrati velikim plusom. No, i pored svega napisanog, nije ovo loše izdanje. Naprotiv – interesantno je pre svega što nudi, kao što sam već pisao, dozu nostalgije i svojevrsni uvid u to kako bi neka slična izdanja objavljena pre dve (do dve i po) decenije zvučala sa boljom produkcijom. Nisam slušao ranija izdanja ovog benda, mada pretpostavljam da su u sličnom maniru. Stoga jedino mogu preporučiti ovaj mini album, pogotovo ako volite black metal koji nije ni ''simfonično-borgirovski'', ni ''devastirajuće-mardukovski''.




I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: southern California is fast becoming the west coast equivalent of Bergen, Norway. While sunshine, beaches and palm trees don’t exactly fit the grim, hellish aesthetic black metal is generally known for, one cannot deny the past decade or so has produced a number of big names in the USBM scene and while Gravespawn are still building momentum, if they continue to pump out quality metal like their latest EP “Inexorable Grimness” there’s no question these guys can dominate the underground. Originally a one piece project started by Seth Brooke (a.k.a. Reaver) while serving in South Korea in 2004 the band has since evolved, after a few adjustments in the lineup over the years since its inception, into a four piece monstrosity. While the group has only put out one full length, the 2012 leviathan “Woe to the Conquered” and a handful of splits, the band is spreading faster than wildfire with their unique blend of raw and epic black metal; Gravespawn utilize medieval soundscapes reminiscent of Summoning but combine it with the rawness and darkness of early Dark Throne so fans of either (and both) will enjoy this one.


Opening up this all too short extended play is “Old Dragon’s Domain”, which after a brief taste of the aforementioned medieval atmosphere the band begins to really come alive. The clarity of the tremolo guitar playing is wonderful, it’s distorted yet crisp and clear, the riffs themselves echo that old-school heart and soul but what really adds to the track is the use of the keyboards which totally paints a picture of men in blood splattered armor wielding long swords and chasing dragons. Blast beats and cymbal crashes and when Reaver finally tears into the first verse with his beastly growls and it’s glorious. The song moves between the obligatory buzz-saw guitar riffs and these epic, keyboard heavy slower parts that give Gravespawn a very folk, very tribal atmosphere with chanting choruses and a very distinct Dark Age backdrop that is both very metal and yet majestic. There’s a story being told in the lyrics and the music is engineered around it. “Oath of the Annihilator” is the second track of “Inexorable Grimness” is pure, straight forward black metal for the most part; there’s dramatic elements woven into this track with the keyboards bringing sudden silences back to life, agonizing screams full of torment and rage.


The next track, “Thy Gates Ablaze” is loaded with infectious riffs; that initial build up into the meat of the song, very old school rock and roll with one guitar churning out a very head banger friendly, marching riff which is quickly joined by the rest of the band. It’s very basic structurally, simple but effective. The band displays some skilled breakaway solos, the keyboards are in the backseat of this one, still present but less integral and these Californians just focus on blistering black metal. Again I would like to mention the clarity of everything, perfectly harmonized, all cylinders firing perfectly and while “Ablaze” wasn’t heavy with keyboard there is a general feeling throughout the recording of a very big, very theatrical sound that could be compared, at times, to older Cradle of Filth.


“Between the Devouring Monstrosities” is full tilt, where “Ablaze” took a more laid back approach this one just tears through at thrash speeds, destroying everything and taking no prisoners, they charge full steam ahead. Session musician Jackson Ferris shines here behind the chainsaw guitars on the drum kit and bass player Advorsus also gets a chance to lay down a great little solo segment. It’s a vicious song followed by a return to the Lord of the Rings, keyboard driven “Scribes of Forsaken Lore” which is full of sword fights, blood rituals and war. I love the grandness to it, Gravespawn does something special along the same lines of period-themed bands like Cradle, Amon Amarth in the death metal scene, Carach Angren with their Victorian-era nightmares; there’s depth a lot of bands fail to develop, it’s unique and original and sets them apart from the army of copy cats. There’s some fine bass-work towards the end of the extended play, I’m a sucker for great bass riffs and once again Advorsus takes the lead before the song winds to a close.


There’s not much to hate here. Gravespawn, with their songs about ancient battle, mythology and history manage to do a pretty solid job of simultaneously slaying with juicy black metal riffs as well as telling us a story. The production is very good, I’ve covered that a few times now; at no point throughout the chaos did the sound turn to mush, everything maintained it’s identity without sacrificing any bite in the sound. Reaver’s lyrics and vocal style are definitely above average, the band is fine tuned as a unit as well as individually with each musician bringing sometime to the table and as far as content goes, the band succeeds where many fail. After the first run through of this one I was hooked, Gravespawn nail it and I look forward to seeing more from these guys.





Nada como black metal norte-americano que nos parece tipicamente escandinavo. Na realidade, não será de estranhar, afinal as fórmulas criadas pela Escandinávia na segunda vaga de black metal tornaram-se universalmente seguidas. Ainda assim, os Gravespawn encontram espaço suficiente nas composições para espalhar a sua própria identidade, seja pelo uso inteligente de teclados, seja pela atmosfera muito própria que consegue criar. Black metal como mandam as regras mas sem cheirar a mofo é o principal ponto de atracção de "Inexorable Grimness".





When he was doing his military duties in 2004 for the fabulous (small dose of sarcasm included) American army in South Korea, Seth ‘Rellik’ Brooke decided to start Gravespawn as a solo-outfit, to canalise his misanthropic ideas and thoughts. Before he was in Lythos, but since his partners in crime from that band weren’t with him… After a first demo, he returned to California, joining forces with bass player Andrew ‘Advorsus’ Inman, who was part of the Lythos line-up too. Soon after a second demo followed, but then things went silent. In 2009 there was another demonstrational recording, and once again only silence remained afterwards. Until 2012, which was the year that brought us the first studio full length album by Gravespawn, Woe To The Conquered (self-released). Another couple of years of relative silence appeared, and in 2015 the band was part of a split with Indesiderium, an outfit that includes guitar player Atrum Abbas, who joined Gravespawn in 2009 (shortly before the recording of that third demo). Gravespawn’s part of the split consisted of two tracks from that debut album. One of these songs, as well as another one from that album (and a live track as bonus), made it to another split, 2016’s Infirmos Vocat Deus Fidei, a collaboration that also includes Wormreich, Vesterian and Diabolus Amator. It was released via two splendid Black Metal labels, Black Plague Records and Symbol Of Domination Productions. Even though it’s little older than the release I am reviewing right now, I will surely come back to the split quite soon.


Anyway, since Gravespawn did sign to Symbol Of Domination Productions for that split, they decided to release their newest epos once again via this sub-label of Russia’s Satanath Records, this time in a joint venture with Seth’s own label Vae Victis Productions. Seth, now acting under the name of Reaver, took care of the final mix too, and he was helped out by Advorsus, who returned to this line-up, and Verigo, who joined in 2009. The latter is in Vesterian as well (besides some other bands), which was one of the other bands on Infirmos Vocat Deus Fidei. The drum parts were done by session studio musician Jackson Ferris, whom you might know from his activities in bands like Verräter, Stonehaven and Lightning Swords Of Death.


Inexorable Grimness lasts for thirty-three minutes and gets released in an edition of 500 copies, including an eight-page booklet. It stands for Grim Ancient Black Metal, and that sort of covers the reality. Grim it is, Black Metal it is, and ‘ancient’, well there surely is a very convinced Second Wave attitude as driving force. The five-track EP opens with Old Dragon’s Domain, which starts with a very nice introduction, balancing in between the heroism of so-called Dungeon Synth Music, and the epic bravery of an act like Summoning. After about one minute and something, Gravespawn transforms into a very icy and misanthropic, yet also mystic form of Traditional Black Metal. I did mention the Second Wave, and that’s a very correct given for sure. Riff-wise, for example, and everything that concerns melody and rhythm, immodestly breathe a glorious Nordic atmosphere. It means a certain lack of originality. Indeed, the changes in tempo and structure, the execution and instrumentation, the sphere and so on – quite everything reeks of heard-it-before. But hey, you don’t hear me complaining, for the result, once again, is quite satisfying.


There are a couple of great things going on. In general, all tracks are decently written and performed (great drummer for sure – the stuff is not necessarily that blasting fast at all, but the drum salvos add a huge dose of dynamism, which I for myself do appreciate enormously), but I have to refer to a couple of things. The vocals, for instance, are fine to listen too; somewhat gurgling, somewhat soar and raspy, yet deeply penetrating the soul. I also adore the epic spirit, which gets translated in the guitar melodies especially, as well as some harmonic chants. But it’s part of the general atmosphere too, subtly touchable whole of the time. But quite characteristic are the keyboards, which do play a very important role. It’s not an instrument permanently present, but in quite a modest way it does find its way to define the stubborn identity of this band. This fact too is, to my subjective opinion, a surplus (though I never dislike the use of keyboards within atmospheric Black Metal passages).





Gravespawn  are  a  band  from  Los  Angeles,  California  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  very  raw  form  of  satanic  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  ep  "Inexorable  Grimness"  which  was  released  as  a  joint  effort  between  Symbol  Of  Domination  and  Vae  Victus  Productions.


  Epic  sounding  keyboards  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  very  fast  and  raw  black  metal  direction  which  also  uses  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats  while  the  vocals  are  mostly  high  pitched  screams  and  you  can  also  hear  a  great  amount  of  dark  sounding  melodies  in  the  guitar  riffing.


  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  dark  yet  melodic  fashion  while  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  clean  guitars  along  with  clear  vocals  are  also  used  briefly  and  keyboards  are  also  added  on  some  of  the  later  songs  and  while  the  music has  a  lot  of  second w ave  influences  it  still  sounds  very  modern  and  acoustic  guitars  are  also  used  on  a  couple  of  tracks.


  On  this  recording  Gravespawn  plays  a  style  of  black  metal  that  is  still  very  raw  while  also  adding  in  more  keyboards  and  epic  structures  this  time  around,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  Satanism,  History,  Mythology  and  Battles  themes.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Gravespawn  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of raw  and  epic  black  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.




Дело в том, что, когда я уже взял этот диск в руки, то что-то екнуло возле селезенки. Это знак сниже)), подумалось. И точно. Повнимательнее вглядываясь в логотип команды, припомнил об одной ужасающей встрече, хорошо, что она была не в вонючем подвале, а даже типа при свете излучателей. Тогда я внимал темнейшему ритуалу в исполнении демонической четверки прямиком из инферно. Это были монструозные вилы — четверозубец под названием Wormreich / Diabolus Amator / Gravespawn / Vesterian - Infirmos Vocat Deus Fidei. Вот такой сплит был и отклик на него есть. Посмотрим же, что я тогда написал чернилами про Gravespawn. «Дело в том, что несвятая троица исполняет допотопный треш-спид-блак, который невольно бросает нас во времена динозавров от блак металла, когда черное пламя горело мощно и ничуть не чадило. Вокалист знатно хрипит, исторгая воронье клекотание, поддерживаемое ритм-секцией, которая олицетворяет силы Тьмы, природные катаклизмы и сверхчеловеческую энергию, направляемую на дестракт».

А актуальная эпишка Gravespawn вышла уже в прошлом году, таким своеобразным методом подведя итог наличной дискографии ансамбля. Три демки, полноформат, два сплита и вот эпишка — немало на стезе антиклерикализма и откровенного чертопоклонничества. Но нас более волнует, что за музыкальный артефакт изготовило трио (поддержанное сессионным драммером), что за адовую шкатулку смастерило.

Тем не менее американская компания из Лос-Анджелеса, что в Калифорнии, начинает прямо-таки эпично, боем барабанов и торжественными клавишами. Несколько необычно для ранее заявленного образа мыслей. Все разрешается уже на второй минуте первого трака. К слову, хотя треков не так много, они не мелкие. 8 — 7 - 6 минут, это значит, что группа создает развернутые произведения, с утрамбованными разными музыкальными подходами.

Так и есть, после каменноугольного шквала - пропила бензопилой, вдруг рождается лирический акустический проход, потом опять пилорама, и вдруг - оголтелое хоровое пение на этом акустическом фоне, но уже не голом, а с применением электрических гитар. И между прочим, Gravespawn все это выворачивает на полифонию, объем и гигантоманию в общей претензии. Удивительно. Зело. Я протер глаза и решил посмотреть, то ли я слушаю. Да то!

Но я в полном недоумении... от черного олдскульного урагана команда двинулась к черному олдскульному атмосферик блаку. Такому же истовому и торментному (мучительному), НО, - уже оккультному и воняющему дымом ритуальных костров, с массой эпического контента. Это знаете, надо слушать. Не скажу, что это новое слово в блак металле, НО стафф оригинальный и ментально мне напоминает полудумовые первые альбомы блэкарьских норвегов Gehenna. Но только ментально, ибо здесь совершенно по иному звучит сварка эпического и блэкового содержания в металлическом произведении. Реально.

Наполняя максимально широко гитарным и мизантропическим клавишным звуком пространства ритуального помещения, Gravespawn добиваются удивительного эффекта нашего сопричастия вершащимся там актам. Саванные клавиши обвивают слушателя и утягивают его в пасти подозрительных да и просто страшных композиций, переполненных ожиданием, тоской и тревогой. Так и есть.

Когда в траке 4 появился наконец-то трешевый угарный гитарный проход, я дико обрадовался ему как старому знакомцу из того знатного сплита. (Наверно он распродан на Сатанат рекордс. Но проверьте - не грех. Шикарный и убойный сплиток). Это было тем мостиком, что соединило мое прошлое мнение с нынешним. Точнее насчет актуального? Эзотерический мощный, забойный и эпический БЛЭК с отъявленным злодейским грим (и редким чистым) вокалом и небольшими атмо-вставками. Великолепная работа, насыщенная нездоровой мелодикой и античеловечьим настроением. Оказывается, Gravespawn, являя миру свое подсознание, становится еще интереснее и драматичнее.

Супериорный рывок из олдового блэк треша.





I’m once again put into the position to review one great release,this time coming from the United States, California, we have Gravespawn. Well first of all let me introduce you a little bit to the band, it started as a one man project in 2004 by Reaver( Seth Brooke), and by now it evolved into a full band being joined by Advorsus(Andrew Inman), Verigo(Charles Lucia) and JF(Jackson Ferris) having two splits with Indesiderium,Wormreich,Diabolus Amator and Vesterian, one full-length and three demos.


It’s latest release, the Inexorable Grimness EP is the one we will go through today, it has been recorded and mixed at Vae Victus Studio, and relesed as a CD on the 3rd of August 2016.

The record holds five tracks of as the band calls it Grim Ancient Black Metal and you can feel it right from the opening track, Old Dragon’s Domain a song that goes from an war anthem like intro to an excellent demonstration of well executed black metal driven by IF’s relentless assault of double bass and blasts, and what I really liked is that the keys are not put on all over the track,but only during the chorus and during some transitions, to be honest it reminds me a little bit of Dimmu Borgir’s early work. Reaver’s vocals focus on a more rather harsh like voice sometimes doubled by growls, but still quite clear to understand and it blends quite well with the rest of the track. Moving on with the tracks I can clearly notice that this release is bound to the second wave black metal, while sometimes adding chanted clean vocals such as during Oath of the Annihilator.


This whole EP is an example of well executed Black Metal rooted in the old times of Satyricon and such, quite a nice surprise coming from the United States scene.

Overall I find this release a very well made EP, driven by a generally cold atmosphere, sweeping trem riffing and a precise merciless percussion.




Five tracks of bleakness, five tracks of coldness, five tracks of black metal glory. All with a melodic touch that makes the bitter & disgusted sound more palatable. Inexorable Grimness sounds ancient, it sounds like music played at the beginning of the worlds creation. When we crawled out of the primordial ooze, Gravespawn where there, spitting fire & fury.


With the crashing of drums, the soaring riffs & twisted vocals, Gravespawn get things started brilliantly on Old Dragon’s Domain. The furious black metal sound increases for Oath of the Annihilator, super-fast riffing with a rawness not heard yet. When the track drifts away into a sorrowful melody changing pace & style, it goes from a great song to a simply stunning piece of work.


This ability to go from high-tempo black metal to soft melody in an instant is amazing. That Gravespawn do it so well & without losing the ‘evil’ edge they have, makes this album a work of art.


All five tracks are immensely satisfying, offering elements to please the many different faces of black metal fandom. It calls to the dark places of the mind but doesn’t leave you feeling hopeless. Between the Devouring Monstrosities is a heavy & violent slab of heavy metal but its rawness isn’t without exceptional rhythm. It’s this that you remember the most about the song & the record overall.


Inexorable Grimness ends on the most stunning song so far. The guitar work on show in Scribes of Forsaken Lore is amazing. Soaring melody & rhythm backed up with throat-gurgling vocals & the smashing of drums. It’s the cherry on top of the best black metal cake you’ve ever eaten.


Absolutely brilliant.





Gravespawn treiben bereits seit 2004 ihr Unwesen und die Amerikaner haben in dieser Zeit drei Demos, ein Album, und zwei Splits rausgebracht. Mit „Inexorable Grimness“ folgte nun die erste EP der Bandgeschichte, die ihrer Länge nach auch ein Album hätte sein können.


Die Jungs um den Bandchef Reaver, der Gravespawn ursprünglich als Solo-Projekt erdachte, mögen zwar Amerikaner sein, ihre Wurzeln liegen allerdings eher im Black Metal der 2. Welle mit unruhigen Gitarren, schnellem Drumming, rohem Sound und grimmiger bis frostiger Atmosphäre. Dazu gesellt sich das grimmige Keifen von Reaver, der den Old School-Charakter nur noch weiter verstärkt. Dennoch sollte man die Band nicht als bloße 90er-Huldigung abtun, immerhin verpassen sie dem Sound immer wieder eine kleine Auffrischung. Epische Keyboards fügen dem rohen Black Metal eine anmutige Aura hinzu und hier und da driftet das Ganze durch chorische Elemente und folkige Riffs in Richtung Pagan Black ab. Das erinnert dann gerne mal an beispielsweise Celtefog, nur mit deutlich weniger Keyboards. Besonders „Thy Gates Ablaze“ hätte genausogut auf dem aktuellen Album des Griechen sein können. Gravespawn gelingt der Spagat zwischen rohem Black Metal und epischer Anmut sehr gut, die Band vereint den Blick zurück mit dem Blick nach vorne Spannt damit einen Bogen um den Black Metal als solches.


„Inexorable Grimness“ ist ein frostiges Werk einer amerikanischen Band, die sich damit auf den Black Metal-Radar vieler Menschen schießen könnte. Gravespawn gelingt es traditionsbewusstem Black Metal mit einem Hauch Pagan und einigen Spielereien frische Gefühle mit auf den Weg zu geben und dadurch ein ziemlich interessantes Gesamtwerk abzuliefern, das mit seiner Länge von 32 Minuten auch ein Album hätte werden können.





Avevamo già parlato poco tempo fa del ritorno dei Gravespawn sulle scene, grazie a uno split con altri brutti ceffi statunitensi innamorati del black metal che ha preceduto questo EP intitolato "Inexorable Grimness" di qualche mese. In quell'occasione non abbiamo avuto modo di entrare nel dettaglio di cosa è in grado di offrire la band al pubblico. Ora credo sia il caso di rimediare.


Lo stile di "Inexorable Grimness" prende connotati epici al punto tale che si può quasi sentire il sapore di sangue e acciaio in bocca per tutta la sua durata. Ogni brano contiene diversi spunti melodici in evoluzione evocando morte sul campo di battaglia, certe volte lasciandosi andare anche a sezioni di semplice tremolo picking supportato da interventi di tastiera, senza rischiare mai di perdere mordente.


A proposito di rischio, qui bisogna dire che ce ne è veramente poco: di sicuro nessun pezzo suona ripetitivo o troppo simile agli altri. L'ascoltatore navigato di questo genere si accorgerà presto, però, che questi territori sono già stati ampiamente razziati dalle primissime uscite di band come Enslaved, Satyricon, Emperor e Gehenna, evidenti fonti di ispirazione per i Gravespawn. In compenso, chi ama tali sonorità dubito possa lamentarsi delle fiamme create da "Thy Gates Ablaze" o da "Oath Of The Annihilator", a mio parere i momenti migliori della scaletta.


"Inexorable Grimness" è un EP che ci presenta una band preparata, un concentrato dinamico di oscurità che mescola assalti frontali e soluzioni più ragionate; cinque tracce di black metal curato, mai scalfito dai trend che si sono alternati negli anni. Questi sono gli elementi con cui ci vogliono convincere i Gravespawn: solo qualità proposta con amore per il metallo nero. Provateli, non vi deluderanno.





Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Gravespawn is a three-piece black metal band with just a handful of recordings to their name prior to this EP, the brilliantly-titled ‘Inexorable grimness’. It seems somewhat incongruous that the blazing sun of LA should be the spawning ground for a new darkness and yet the last decade has seen a number of bands emerge from the region’s golden beaches. It’s enough to make you think there’s something in the water. Formed as a solo project by Reaver, the band has hardly been prolific, clearly focusing on quality over quantity, and that, surely, is no bad thing in a period where to remain silent for any length of time is to risk being forgotten with the concomitant increase in substandard releases reaching an all-time high.


Despite being classed as an EP with its five tracks, ‘Inexorable grimness’ still manages to clock in at an impressive 32 minutes (longer than ‘Reign in blood’) thanks to the expanded run-time of the tracks on offer. The EP opens with ‘Old Dragon’s domain’, a sombre synth line providing a filmic opening that befits the fantasy-historical lyrics of the track. Summoning a Tolkenian atmosphere, ‘old dragon’s domain’ draws on the ravaged guitars of Darkthrone and Burzum, whilst Reaver’s mono-tone scream is used rhythmically to punctuate the fire and fury of the track. Next up is ‘oath of the annihilator’ which draws on vintage Darkthrone with its intoned clean vocals and white-hot guitars. Eerie synth once finds its way into the track emphasizing the epic and building an atmosphere around the storied lyrics. The imperial riffs of  ‘thy gates ablaze’ are no less impressive, conjuring images of long-decayed halls and rusting armour in a lengthy piece that offers up something new every time you listen. A full-blooded assault on the senses, ‘between the devouring monstrosities’ is every bit as brutal as its title, although it too heads into more elegiac territory, the music invoking the epic poetry of Beowulf in its final throes. The EP concludes with ‘scribes of forsaken lore’, a final trip into lands long abandoned by humans in their quest for never-ending modernity. With raging guitars overlaid with more nuanced, clean elements, it’s a mesmerising finale and one that leaves you very much wanting more.




Gravespawn may hail from LA, but their music comes from a different realm altogether. Fans of Stephen King and Peter Straub’s epic novel ‘The Talisman’ will find themselves daydreaming of the way that the main character, Jack, slips from the present day into an alternate, medieval realm and this is a perfect EP to lose yourself in for half an hour at a time. Dim the lights, let the red wine flow and indulge in this dark, epic masterpiece.




When listening to black metal, the vocals are generally the last thing I notice. More than any other style of extreme music, black metal vocals seem to blend in with the rest of the instruments as part of the overall atmosphere of the music rather than being a focal point. Maybe it’s a result of the genre’s lo-fi aesthetic, or the ghostly rasp/shriek favored by so many black metal vocalists. If they do stand out, it generally means they seem off in some way, like they’re sidechained in the mix or don’t seem to match what’s happening musically. Or they might just sound kind of goofy like the dude from Inquisition.


For west coast traditionalists Gravespawn, though, the vocals are the primary reason why their music works. Originally formed as a solo project by vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Reaver back in 2004 near the end of a stint in the military, he eventually expanded the lineup in time to record their second demo Forged in the Malice of Stygian Fire in 2005. Never the most prolific band, only issuing one full-length and a handful of other releases over the course of their 13-year existence, they have upped their production recently by releasing a pair of splits and the Inexorable Grimness EP over a fourteen month span in 2015-16.




Our friends at Fólkvangr Records are reissuing Inexorable Grimness on cassette this week, and it’s yet another in what has been a remarkably consistent run of excellent releases in their freshman year of existence. Anchored by Reaver’s rather unique approach to vocals, the EP is a really solid exercise in riff-centric, epic black metal that reminds me a bit of mid-tempo Gorgoroth, but with more medieval-sounding keyboard flourishes. There’s definitely the same sort of cold, grim quality to the music, though Gravespawn don’t follow the same left-hand path lyrically as Infernus and whoever else happens to be in Gorgoroth this week. Instead, their songs seem to focus on mythological battles, and on songs like “Old Dragon’s Doman” and “Scribes of Forsaken Lore” they even seem to evince something of a Tolkien influence (though without a lyric sheet, I can’t be entirely sure).




While Inexorable Grimness is overflowing with memorable riffs—especially in “Thy Gates Ablaze” and “Scribes of Forsaken Lore”—the vocals really carry the day. Reaver somehow manages to sound like at least five different people at various points on the EP, occasionally all at the same time thanks to some very cool layering effects – he can range from rasps to growls to a pretty convincing clean vocal, and mixes those approaches up in such a way that each track feels unique in a way that’s uncommon in black metal. The closest analogue I can think of is Mark of the Devil’s performance on the most recent Cultes des Ghouls record Coven, but he was altering his voice to portray different characters in a full-blown black metal opera. Reaver’s approach might be a bit more impressive, since his variable style seems to be entirely for the sake of the song.


All told, this record probably skews a little closer to the traditional black metal end of the spectrum than a lot of what Fólkvangr puts out, but it still has enough of the melodic and folk overtones to it that it should still appeal to people who were drawn to the label by bands Chiral and Afar.


And true to my word, Fólkvangr’s catalogue has indeed made me care enough about cassettes again to invest in a nice tape deck.





Último trabajo discográfico de este trio estadounidense integrado por Seth Brooke en voz, teclados y guitarras, Andrew Inman en bajo, y Charles Lucia en guitarra.

Black/death metal con aristas sinfónicas, con alternancia de voces limpias y gritadas, blast-beats, riffs a mil por hora, agresión, brutalidad y violencia sonora por doquier, redundan en un EP muy parejo, con salientes como “Thy Gates Ablaze” o “Between the Devouring Monstrosities” (esta última de un nivel técnico sobresaliente), donde las inevitables influencias pasan por Emperor, Satyricon y Dimmu Borgir, es decir la crème-de-la-crème del metal extremo europeo.

Con “Inexorable grimness”, Gravespawn mantiene en alto la bandera del underground mientras aspira a jugar en las grandes ligas. Que así sea.





I did an interview with this band that seems like an eternity ago, but in that one there was talk about this record. No I finally get a chance to hear and I gotta say I am pretty stoked to hear this US band tear it up like there is no tomorrow. This US bands black metal isn’t typical US in sound. This is much more Euro than anything. You could say that it at times is atmospheric. For some reason I get an east European feeling when I listen to this. Like this could have been done in The Czech Republic in the late 90s. Whatever feeling I get it never leaves the 90s. This is old school without sounding old.





Gravespawn treiben bereits seit 2004 ihr Unwesen und die Amerikaner haben in dieser Zeit drei Demos, ein Album, und zwei Splits rausgebracht. Mit „Inexorable Grimness“ folgte nun die erste EP der Bandgeschichte, die ihrer Länge nach auch ein Album hätte sein können.


Die Jungs um den Bandchef Reaver, der Gravespawn ursprünglich als Solo-Projekt erdachte, mögen zwar Amerikaner sein, ihre Wurzeln liegen allerdings eher im Black Metal der 2. Welle mit unruhigen Gitarren, schnellem Drumming, rohem Sound und grimmiger bis frostiger Atmosphäre. Dazu gesellt sich das grimmige Keifen von Reaver, der den Old School-Charakter nur noch weiter verstärkt. Dennoch sollte man die Band nicht als bloße 90er-Huldigung abtun, immerhin verpassen sie dem Sound immer wieder eine kleine Auffrischung. Epische Keyboards fügen dem rohen Black Metal eine anmutige Aura hinzu und hier und da driftet das Ganze durch chorische Elemente und folkige Riffs in Richtung Pagan Black ab. Das erinnert dann gerne mal an beispielsweise Celtefog, nur mit deutlich weniger Keyboards. Besonders „Thy Gates Ablaze“ hätte genausogut auf dem aktuellen Album des Griechen sein können. Gravespawn gelingt der Spagat zwischen rohem Black Metal und epischer Anmut sehr gut, die Band vereint den Blick zurück mit dem Blick nach vorne Spannt damit einen Bogen um den Black Metal als solches.


„Inexorable Grimness“ ist ein frostiges Werk einer amerikanischen Band, die sich damit auf den Black Metal-Radar vieler Menschen schießen könnte. Gravespawn gelingt es traditionsbewusstem Black Metal mit einem Hauch Pagan und einigen Spielereien frische Gefühle mit auf den Weg zu geben und dadurch ein ziemlich interessantes Gesamtwerk abzuliefern, das mit seiner Länge von 32 Minuten auch ein Album hätte werden können.