Sunday 22 December 2019


Brazil's Dirty Grave claim that their latest album, the band's second, is a celebration of "Satan and Old Metal" and although Desert Psychlist does not profess to know too much about Satan we do know a little about "old metal" and we can vouch for the fact that the bands new release, "Sin After Death", is drenched in the stuff.

Dirty Grave plough a well trodden musical trough through the fetid soils of what is known as proto-doom, the Orlândia quartet borrow, and in some cases steal, elements from such bastions of the proto-doom genre as Black Sabbath and Pentagram yet somehow manage to a create sound and groove that is totally unique and utterly their own. This uniqueness owes much to the distinctive vocal stylings of bassist/vocalist Mark Rainbow, Rainbow sneers, growls, screams, groans and croons his way through the eight songs that make up "Sin After Death", his varied vocal inflections bringing an air of malice and sinisterness to the table that both Ozzy (Osborne) and Bobby (Liebling) would find hard to compete with. Rainbow also plays a mean bass and his growling bottom end, combined with Henrique Lima's tight powerhouse percussion, lays the perfect foundation for guitarists Pedro Barros and Victor Berg to showcase their prowess with a stunning array of raunchy doomic refrains and scorching metallic solos, the two six-stringers playing over, around and off each other in a masterclass of how to combine schooled technical ability with raw natural feel.
A band can be accomplished musicians but if that band does not have the songs to best frame those abilities... well its game over. Thankfully Dirty Grave do not only have the musical chops they also have the songs, dark proto flavoured rockers like "In This Night" and "Turn Off All My Fears", theatrical laced doomic tomes with schizophrenic vocal melodies like "Slaughter (Human Race Is Dead)" and "Satan's Wings II (I Saw The Devil)" and blues tinted stoner metal such as "Slow Journey", in fact there is not one single song on "Sin After Death" that falls into the realms of mediocre or banal, each track an essential part of the whole.

Imagine a heady musical stew of Sabbathesque and Pentagram(ish) riffery blended with a touch of  heavy bluesy colouring, a sprinkling of old school metal swagger and a smidgeon of psychedelic texturing, then with this in mind add into this proto-doomic gumbo an onslaught of highly distinctive and at times maniacal vocal dynamics and you might, just might, arrive somewhere close to getting a handle on what Dirty Grave have achieved with "Sin After Death", we say close mind because nothing can prepare you for the reality.

© 2019 Frazer Jones

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