Gravehill – The Unchaste, the Wicked, & the Profane (Review)

GravehillThis is the fourth album from US death metallers Gravehill.

2014’s Death Curse was a very tasty serving of rotting metallic delights, and now the band are back with another mouldy 43 minutes of atavistic death metal.

With some lineup changes, (including a change in vocals and re-recruitment of an ex-Exhumed member), Gravehill in 2018 offer up a strong collection of tracks that are largely longer and yet also more focused than previously. The band play old-school death metal that’s spiced up with elements of both thrash and black metal. This combination works well, favouring death metal as the main source of inspiration, while not neglecting the other two styles.

The songs are morbid, primitive, and ancient; they reek of crypts and desecration. The music is well-written and played with an obvious passion. There’s plenty of good riffs, leads, and solos peppered around the release, with the solos in particular being worthy of note.

Although there’s speed and aggression when needed, some of the best material on this album is the mid-paced stuff. Sometimes there’s such an old-school swagger to the music that it really harks back to not only the 90s, but the 80s too; as well as some Darkthrone-infected deathly groove, we get a decent Celtic Frost influence too. It’s hideously effective.

Gravehill appear to have taken the strengths of their previous work and fashioned them into tools which they have used to craft this new album. The band have returned stronger than ever, and The Unchaste, the Wicked, & the Profane is highly enjoyable. This is blasphemous metal with no frills, just solid, quality songs.

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