This is the third album from UK doom/sludge metallers Grave Lines.
Featuring the guitarist from Dead Witches/Sea Bastard, Grave Lines play an interesting and immersive form of doom. Weaving together doom metal and sludge into a tapestry that also includes Gothic, ambient drone, post-punk, and experimental elements, Communion contains 44 minutes of music that’s highly compelling.
For a very rough guide to what you’ll find on here, if you combine bits of Black Sabbath and Eyehategod with multiple eras of both Paradise Lost and Neurosis, you’ll have a loose idea of what Communion offers.
Grave Lines know how to unleash both roiling groove and deep atmosphere. Crushing sludge heaviness rubs shoulders with doom metal melodies, while a melancholic heart sits weeping amidst it all. Introspection and aspects of nuanced mood-building can be found arranged around the band’s heavier core, rounding out their sound in idiosyncratic and absorbing ways.
Each of the songs has its own personality and strengths. The music is well-written and effectively realised, making for an engaging journey into the band’s well-developed gloomy vision. Each track has its own feel, from the boisterous sludge/doom opener Gordian to the dripping-with-emotion Lycaenid to closing atypical epic Sinesis. Only the interlude track Tachinid falls short of the rest of the material’s heights, and that’s only really because I hate spoken word.
The vocals are as diverse as the musical palette they complement. Clean singing, expressive shouts, harsh roars, and other vocalisations all appear, and are all well-delivered.
Grave Lines have produced a multifaceted and rich doom album. Communion is an impressive release, and one it is worth getting to know further over time.