Power of Metal.dk Review

Earthen Grave
Earthen Grave
Style: Doom Metal
Release date: 9 July, 2013
Playing time: 78:21

It’s rare that an album ticks all the right boxes for me but Earthen Grave’s self-titled debut did just that. At once innovative and old-school, with a band giving an impressive display of musicianship and song-writing skills, the album had made it to my ‘Albums of the year’ list at the 2012 staff poll of this publication.


Before I go on, a word about the band……Earthen Grave consists of musicians who are no strangers to the Doom genre: bassist Ron Holzner (The Skull, Trouble, In-Graved), guitarists Jason Muxlow (The Living Fields, Wintering, Fields of Burden) and Tony Spillman, vocalist Mark Weiner (Trifog), drummer Scott Davidson (recently replaced by Chris Wozniak) and Rachel Barton-Pine on violin. Rachel is a world-class virtuoso within the Classical music genre - her violin wizardry here pushes the music envelope but nonetheless Earthen Grave’s sound remains rooted in traditional Doom.


From the get-go, the title-track’s ominous chiming of churchbells drowning in guitar feedback got me hooked. The album is full of great moments but it’s perhaps ‘Death on the High Seas’ that best encapsulates the band’s ethos - the epic song is over 10 minutes long but is engrossing from start to end. It speaks about the dire straits of a group of mariners and has Earthen Grave going at tangents whenever you least expect it. For example I just loved how the gloomy music becomes an ad-libbing of tight-sounding Thrashy riffs. Things become emotionally intense when the violin starts to go ‘beserk’ in representation of the mariners’ screams. In ‘Death Is Another Word’, Rachel takes the back-seat while the rest of the band churn one hard-hitting riff after another.


Earthen Grave’s take on ‘Relentless’ injects new life into the Pentagram classic and their live rendition of Rainbow’s ‘Stargazer’ (featuring Trouble’s Bruce Franklin on guitar as guest) has Mark Weiner singing his heart out while Rachel gives an electrifying performance.


“Earthen Grave” is an impressive debut and I look forward to hear more from this band.

01. Earthen Grave
02. Life Carries On
03. Burning a Sinner (Witchfinder General cover)
04. Blood Drunk
05. Dismal Times
06. Tilted World
07. Beneath a Shovel Load
08. Fall In
09. Relentless (Pentagram cover)
10. Death on the High Seas
11. Death Is Another Word

12. Stargazer (Rainbow cover – live)
Label: Ripple Music
Distribution: Ripple Music
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 5 August, 2013
Website: www.earthengrave.com