Graves at Sea [USA]
This Place is Poison
Since sludge metallers Graves at Sea returned in 2012, they have been hard at work, with two releases already lined up for this year, including their brand new EP, This Place is Poison. With my interest in always finding new sludge and stoner bands to listen to, as well as the inclusion of Black Sabbath‘s Orchid/Lord of This World (which happen to come off my personal favourite Sabbath release), Graves at Sea has certainly got me curious.
The crushing riffs of Nick right from the start of This Place is Poison, along with that gloomy outlook that Graves at Sea has quickly reminds one of the dark arts of bands such as Electric Wizard, along with that slow pace of the band’s music. At the same time, the band includes some rather groovy moments on their track a well, giving This Place is Poison a stoner/doom feel, not unlike acts such as Dopethrone and Acid King, with that slight psychedelia that is invoked on the album.
Personally though, it is the second track on This Place is Poison that I was looking forward to: a reinterpretation of Black Sabbath‘s Orchid/Lord of this World. The track was included on Cvlt Nation as one of the contributions to a tribute to Sabbath‘s Master of Reality (which is available for free streaming/download here). While I liked Primitive Man, their cover of Sweet Leaf failed to capture me, being much too different from the original and too… Droney? So it was interesting to find out how Graves at Sea was gonna do Orchid/Lord of this World, and considering by enjoyment of This Place is Poison so far, chances are high that they won’t disappoint.
Fortunately they don’t, and while the first few minutes were spent conjuring up a vibe as negative and as hostile as possible, things start to get recognisable soon enough. While Master of Reality may be the album that gave rise to/popularised the stoner genre as we know it today, Graves at Sea takes things a notch heavier and groovier, resulting in a cover that has it’s own distinctive flavour, yet still recognisable as a Sabbath track.
This Place is Poison has been an extremely impressive comeback release for Graves at Sea, and with the band’s new split with Sourvein, things are certainly looking up for the band, and for fans of the genre.