Album: The Deathgate
Review by Steve Jenkins
With their latest and remarkably unique–EP The Deathgate, this malicious Melbourne band of brutal boys are out for blood. With a penchant for punishing heaviness that would make the most devastating deathcore acts blush, and a surreal skill for symphonic atmosphere that would send shivers down anyone's spine, Gravemind have created an EP that stands alone and far above a sea of constantly regurgitated heavy music. If you are a fan of well made deathcore, which I personally am, this album is your wet dream.
The Deathgate denies traditional conventions, even as an EP, it takes on the immersive feeling of a lengthy journey with ease. Gravemind are scathingly intense from beginning to finish; the first track "Eschaton" alone is enough to send the listener’s jaw earthward and snap their shoulders with sheer force. However, the second offering and title track “The Death Gate” commences, the listener is assured they aren’t just in for another deathcore chugfest. Drummer, Raymond Martin combines enormous splashy cymbal work with echoing, immense toms to create an enormous aural space quickly filled with Josh Renjen's marvelous bass guitar. Throughout all of The Deathgate, the audible bass can be heard slinking and slapping away alongside Martin's spectacular percussion and the furious fretwork of a triple-threat featuring Michael Petritsch, Aden Young and Damon Bredin. these talented guitarists together are simply unstoppable. One second, they’re playing off of one another and creating ear-catching grooves that wind inside the listener’s head like a serpent. Next, the drumming slows to a stuttering halt as the three shredders commence a prolapse-inducing, slam-laden breakdown bold enough to break mountains. The climactic ending to “Echo” (featuring Aidan from Alpha Wolf) showcases this especially well, as does the entirety of the EP’s standout track, “Anesthesia”
However, to merely highlight the band’s penchant for punishing brutality doesn’t even come close to doing them justice, as there is so much more to The Deathgate than bone-shattering breakdowns and slams severe enough to inflict blunt force trauma. There is progression and experimentation on here that serves as a specialty for what this band can offer up on future releases, there's so much potential and the talent is there undoubtedly.
Throughout all of Gravemind's considerable diversity and remarkable intensity, there is one magnificent constant: Dylan Gillies-Parsons is a force to be reckoned with, equally proficient in both gasping gutturals and ear-splitting shrieks, he is the cherry on top of the brutal serving of mayhem that is The Deathgate. Where the three guitarists bombard the listener with skin-shredding riffs and eerie effects, Dylan perseveres, hitting the listener with harshly screamed syllable after harshly screamed syllable. When the drummer slows the pace and favors the build up of brutality that eventuates, the vocals plays along: dragging out each word so that it feels like daggers being dragged through the listener’s ear. It really is the perfect vocal fit to fill out Gravemind's dynamic, the one thing that could have ruined the release, but instead making it a piece of deathcore perfection.
Not for a long time has there been a more lethal and lacerating journey through Hell, until The Deathgate, that is. Gravemind are incredible proof that some of the best deathcore in the World is right here in Australia. If you're looking for something new and heavy, as my, look no further than this release right here, I think it's well worth checking out.
8.5 out of 10 stars.
The Deathgate is out August 11th and you can pre-order it HERE.
Check out the video for the track 'Anaesthesia' below:
Thursday 14th September - Brisbane, QLD
with Blind Oracle, Initiate Jericho and Season Unending
Thursday 21st September - Melbourne, VIC
THE WORKERS CLUB
with Blind Oracle, Windwaker, The Gloom in the Corner
Saturday 24th September - Launceston, TAS
THE GREENWOOD BAR
with Uncle Geezer, The Absolution Sequence and Majula