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REVIEWER – GRAEME WRIGHT
To The Grave is an Australian Deathcore band that operates out of Sydney. They first came to my attention with their debut album, ‘Global Warning’ which was released in 2019. It was a rough and aggressive release which showed a lot of promise. The second album ‘Epilogue’ refined and perfected the band’s sound, bringing them firmly to the attention of fans of the genre. The band combine growling vocals with themes relating to Human Rights and Animal Activism and both lyrically and musically an uncompromising attitude is always on display.
To The Grave has also released some hugely challenging videos, particularly those from the third album ‘Directors Cuts’ and their music and themes are clearly not for the faint-hearted. The story behind this EP is interesting as the six songs here will also feature on the revamped rerelease of their third record, appropriately called ‘Directors Cuts (Deluxe) and they are a diverse collection of songs, to say the least.
‘Deadskin Skimask’ (feat. Jake Kennedy) is an absolutely brutal opening to the proceedings. Steadfast and unwavering, it’s not for the faint-hearted, but for those who love the heavier end of the music spectrum things simply don’t get any better than this pummelling assault on the senses. This track alone reveals why the band are so highly thought of in Deathcore circles and it’s a stunning beginning. ‘Shock Tactics (1000v)’ doesn’t give the audience any respite.
Grinding guitars and growling vocals set up a unique sense of unease in the listener. It therefore takes this reviewer by surprise when the track adds both melody and melancholy to the proceedings which for this reviewer is both immediate and satisfying.
‘High-Impact’ (feat. Caitlyn Day) is another left turn which starts with hugely aggressive and snarling male vocals before the introduction of Caitlyn Day on female vocal which is so melodic it almost stops you in your tracks. A word of warning, a lot of the band’s songs and videos contain important messages about the mistreatment of animals and some people will be shocked by what is on display (although that is the point, you need to know what you getting yourself into.)
‘Bloodhounds’ is an odd vocal short cut which again is strangely unnerving, while ‘V for Visceral’ hammers the band message home with an almost Nine Inch Nails vibe to the song.
‘High-Impact – Acoustic’ revisits track four and makes an already brilliant song sound very different and could even open up the band to the wider Heavy music community, it’s that good. ‘Anaesthetist’ is the final track found within this collection and is another exciting and interesting piece of music. One thing is clear, this band aren’t afraid to challenge people’s perceptions with their music. For those of us who can handle music from the absolute heaviest end of the spectrum, this record is a must-listen (as is everything the band have produced, to be honest). My highest recommendation.
Dane Evans – Vocals
Jack Simioni – Guitar
Tom Cadden – Guitar
Matt Clarke – Bass Guitar
Simon O’Malley – Drums
- Deadskin Skimask (feat. Jake Kennedy)
- Shock Tactics (1000v)
- High-Impact(feat. Caitlyn Day)
- V For Visceral
- High-Impact – Acoustic
ABOUT TO THE GRAVE
One of Australia’s most uncompromising bands, To The Grave, returns with its heaviest album to date, both sonically and thematically. Since the release of their 2019 debut album ‘Global Warning’, the caustic five-piece has garnered international success, with 2021’s follow-up ‘Epilogue’, a re-issue of ‘Global Warning’ with bonus tracks, solidifying their position as “one of the country’s heaviest exports.” (Revolver).
To The Grave has steadily built an audience in the underground, accumulating more than 11 million Spotify streams, and racking up over 5.4 million YouTube views, all whilst decimating live audiences alongside Parkway Drive, Polaris, Cattle Decapitation, Thy Art Is Murder, Shadow of Intent, Angelmaker, Enterprise Earth, Vulvodynia and Alpha Wolf.
Now, following a sold-out national headline tour in 2022, global critical acclaim for the release of ‘Director’s Cuts, a new EP and plenty of touring for the remainder of 2023, the band are more focused than ever.
To The Grave lyrically exposes a societal and environmental hell on earth whilst pushing the boundaries of accessible extremity, full of barbed hooks, thick with atmosphere and drenched in groove. Razor-sharp guitars played with an exploratory approach – blending everything from whammy pedal squeaks and chiming cleans to death metal chainsaw tones – are entwined with live drums to give a level of dynamism that musically sets this band apart from the extreme metal pack, yet they maintain the weight of the heaviest bands today. Vocalist Dane Evans commands a multifaceted performance, bursting with vocal energy from throat-ripping dissonant screeches to low-end gutturals.