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Review: Early Graves – Red Horse (Album)

San Francisco thrash come hardcore crew Early Graves unleash third album, our thoughts inside.

Band: Early Graves
Release: Red Horse (Album)
Release Date: Out Now

San Francisco’s Early Graves are a band that has had something of a rough time. On August 2nd 2010 vocalist Mahk Daniels was tragically killed in a road accident, only a couple of months after the release of the band’s second album ‘Goner’. It’s an all too familiar and all too tragic turn of events that have affected many bands who have unfortunately had members taken away from them too soon. The remaining members of Early Graves were left with the difficult decision of what to do about their future. However the band have continued along with the addition of new vocalist Chris Brock and now release their new album ‘Red Horse’.

The band take a range of influences from a range of heavy music primarily dealing in a cross between old school thrash and new school hardcore, think Slayer having a bar brawl with Hatebreed and you get an idea of the chaos the band deal in. However before the onslaught that is to come, ‘Red Horse’ starts with some rather solemn acoustic guitar which serves as a very unnerving calm before the storm. It’s not long until the black clouds do arrive in the form of some thunderous drums and some 80s infused thrashy riffs before tumbling into some furious hardcore chops. There is plenty on offer here to attract fans all over the heavy music spectrum. Be it the circle pit igniting frenzy of ‘Misery’, the galloping pace of the title track or the slower bang your head groove of album highlight ‘Death Obsessed’. After just one listen it’s clear this album will have the metalheads salivating just as much as it will have the hardcore kids flailing their limbs about.

The only real flaw on the album is the surprisingly poor production throughout. Although the band may have been going for a sound that’s raw and visceral, it ends up sounding somewhat poor and muddy. Although it can’t be expected for every band in the world to have gleaming production and crystal clear sound the poor quality puts a dampener on an otherwise great album. At times Chris Brock’s vocals get buried amongst the mix and are lost in a sea of noise.

However this is only a minor niggle on what is otherwise a great body of work the sound could do with a little polish, while remaining rough around the edges. Otherwise Early Graves have delivered a masterclass in blending genres and bring together the past and present to superb effect and are bound to set off many bedroom, bus stop possibly even bouncy castle mosh pits in the process.

7/10

Reviewer: Gavin Lloyd

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