Location: New York, USA
Album: Opus V
Release date: February 7th 2018
Genre: Political deathnoise/grindcore/death/black metal
Graveyard facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PHILOSOPHIESOFTHEREALITY/
Metal Archives page: https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Graveyard/52177
Pro Sny Records: https://www.profs.cz/
Buy it on Ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/273359351112?roken=cUgayN&rmvSB=true
It’s review time! Graveyard is a grindcore/black/death metal band from New York. They were formed in 1991 and since then, they released a few demos: Slabfest (1992), Vacation Dinner at the Morgue (1993), Philosophies of the Reality and Displaced Souls (1998). So, we’re reviewing their album titled Opus V which is, by the way, a split release with a Turkish grindcore band Kuafor Cengiz, released on February 7th 2018 via Prof Sny Records.
IN THE NAME OF SATAN, LORD OF LIGHT, I OFFER YOU PEACE ANd SALVATION. YOUR JOURNEY IS ABOUT TO BEGIN! Those are the very first words that open this record. It seems like they are sampled from some old-school 60s horror movie with a cool organ in the background that adds creepiness to the whole thing. And then, after the opening, Before War, Times Before, Looking For… starts. You should have in mind that this release is executed like one big, 30 minutes long song, divided into chapters. Sampled drums blasting like the galloping horses on their road to hell, noisy, sometimes out of sync riffs and the opening scream pierces your ears! My first impression was that these guys were heavily influenced by the early Sepultura and Sarcophago (during the Morbid Visions and I.N.R.I. era) because of the rawness of the riffs and, as some might say, lack of production. And yeah, the singer really understands Wagner’s way of dealing with the vocals. However, these hellish growls are repeatedly interchanged with a speech, like some sort of political preaching that really brings attention to what the guy is saying. The poetic feel will surely get you more focused on the lyrics:
Plutocracy is a form of oligarchy and defines a society ruled or
controlled by a small minority of its wealthiest citizens
And that’s just the small portion of it. After the preaching part, and some movie samples, a new chapter Ecological Collapse begins, without any breaks or whatsoever. This chapter is dominated with a very slow riff and a noisy guitar „solo“ in the background that really sticks out. The singer is mixing poetic vocals with demonic sounding growls. The lyircs are a state-of-art hymn against capitalism that points out the fact that the antrophocenic age is leading us towards an irreversible ecological collapse. The next one, There is no Escape is bringing in a lot of tension with that punchy riff and drum beat. And this song is all about three hypnotic riffs that will get stuck in your head (especially the final riff of the song). With the next tune, Serve The State, you will get your punky, grindcore fix within seconds. And yeah, lyrics are hardcore & political as well:
The need for money creates widespread systematic practices which undermine the integrity and public trust in the institution the decay has begun.
By the way, the guitar leads throughout the whole record are not coming from some shredder and this „lack“ of technicality really adds an old school, 1985 flavor to the whole goddamn thing. The next chapter, After thy bodies burn sounds as if this band, all of a sudden, became a post-hardcore, noise garage band and this is due to the Custodian Killer's approach who really doesn’t give a fuck whether you like his sonic aesthetics or not. Then the singer growls DARKNESS and this catchy power chord kicks in. The Gate/ Insignificance (nothingness in things) is by far one of the finest and most interesting chops from this album. Once again, movie quotes and intriguing „red alert“samples are merged with the song while this beautifully executed chord progression fuses with intentional acts of tremolo violence and some pretty mature soloing. This time, poetry is mixed with acoustic guitars and interstellar, out-of-this-galaxy sound effects. And this is just a calm before the storm, an interlude for the bone-crushing death metal riffage that follows. The second part of the song really reminds of Bathory’s early works (especially the lead guitars). The next chapter, Genocide Revolution is within the aesthetics of the previous song, and all of a sudden, the song transforms into this schizophrenic, dissonant-sounding lunatic parade. This time with Eastern drum beats and chunky guitar parts. Of course, one of the most politically influencecd preaching occurs during the Make us Great Again part, which questions the United States' democracy, corrupted by corporations, politicians and big business in general. And yeah, this sequence gets some of the finest death metal guitar parts.
Then, you can hear samples from speeches of the WW2’s biggest lunatic – Adolf Hitler. Fast forward to present day, and just while reading the Make us Great Again you’ll know who we are talking about. Slaughtered by Chemicals has some intense, in your face riffs with state-of-art grincore lyrics:
Starvation, exploit workers, defraud masses.
Corporations, produce weapons, spawning terror, pure malfeasance.
Controlled media, selling chaos, marketing lies.
All you puppets, you’re all slaves.
Don’t Interfere chapter is again filled with crazy movies and electronic samples who are then scorched out by the incoming wave of intense guitar and drum parts. You will once again be consumed by the poetry of the very last chapter – Opus V. The album is closed by raw black metal riffs, which then transform into a dissonant chord progression.
Graveyard’s Opus V is an astounding underground gem worthy of your attention. Their unique sense of mixing the old school death/black metal riffs with noise-rock guitar parts in between, (also combined with the frequent use of movie quotes) gives this band a very unique sonic trademark. With their fingerprints put all over the place, they surely are far from a generic mindset of so called TRUE OLD SCHOOL metal bands who do nothing but mimic their musical idols. Coming from the deepest places of the underground, Graveyard’s Opus V brings a breath of fresh air to the ears of the listeners, which can be portrayed as a rollercoaster of sounds with a lot of unpredictable moments. What should really be underlined, when these guys are in question, are their on-spot social commentaries of the fucked up world we live in. The band calls their music „political deathnoise“ which is a good hint for what they’re doing. One of the most unique aspects of their music are politically-charged, poetic speeches which to some extent remind me of Jim Morrison’s poetic work. Anyways, if you are looking for „we borrowed the money from our parents for the production“ kind of band, just forget about it. Graveyard are a prime example how raw mixed music should sound like. Forget about the robotic precision and artificial production of present day music industry. This is the real deal!
OPUS V (FULL-LENGTH)
Custodian Killer (guitars)
RAz K. (vocals, guitars)