This Californian duo composed by James Rauh and Phillip Gallagher released their first EP in 2018. It features songs from their previous demos, this time in a single release, and for the first time in a physical format.
Gravecoven loses no time to show what they’re all about, after only a few seconds of listening, it’s clear that a ride of crunchy, slow deep and somewhat groovy riffs is about to start. This can in a certain way summarize the EP, but saying just that wouldn’t do justice to Gravecoven’s voyage to the abyss.
The vocals vary from the expected deep growl (typical to this genre) to a more raspy vocal on a higher pitch, but what sets them apart is the despair that can be felt in the back vocals. To complete the listener’s experience, they combine some howling high pitch screams with low surrounding growls. The drumming is relentless and intense, the riffs are groovy and the occasional lead is added, thus fueling the sense of despair that is present throughout their work. Production-wise, it is focused on the right elements, although the leads sometimes feel a bit too pushed into the background – a minor detail. The highlight of the album is the track “The ecstasy of hatred”.
In conclusion, this is a solid EP recommended particularly to black/death/doom genre fans.