Grave Upheaval’s latest full-length release doesn’t have a title, and the songs don’t have any either, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying their putrid, oozing, rotten style of ritual death metal. The record is cleaner production-wise this time around, as their last full-length album via the same label, Nuclear War Now! Productions sounded like a vacuum cleaner and thudding percussion in the background. Yes, the unintelligible death growls are still resplendent on Untitled and yes, the band’s riffs still sound down tuned to the depths of oblivion. The truth is, Grave Upheaval is blissfully their own sub-genre and style unto themselves, and the morphing blastbeats and lurching rhythms are as putrescent as the black earth of a flooded abandoned graveyard.
The band is trve death metal aristocracy in the death metal underground, and Untitled 2018 allows you to hear some semblance of riffery this time around. On their last album, the cyclonic tremolo-picked death metal riffs sounded too obscure to make out, but Untitled 2018 has at least some grit on the guitar effects for death metal maniacs to tell that the band is using a guitar to create the riffs. You can also hear some cymbal crashing and hi-hat work on Untitled 2018. The beats still consist of little more than thuds and sound similar to a knife attack against soft flesh. There are also chant style vocals to vary the death growls, and the vocalist breathes into the mic like he’s wheezing with a terminal bout of tuberculosis, occasionally spitting out blood into a basin of toxic phlegm and bodily fluids.
Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions release date April 15th
There’s not much to say about Grave Upheaval’s songwriting or transitions since its all as unpredictable and predictably obscure all at once, but this record can be counted on to bring that much-needed graverobbing ambiance to your home audio system and listening room should you have either one. If not, the graveyard seems like the perfect place to hang out at with this record playing there, so support Nuclear War Now! and one of the most extreme bands on the planet. Untitled 2018 is a good sign that NWN! Productions is actively releasing albums that represent the most extreme acts in the underground, and although filthy, ritual death metal like this is eschewed for plenty of examples of more melodic death metal albums, jaded fans especially will play this on repeat to the chagrin of neighbors. There is no blood and gore on Grave Upheaval’s altar, Cvlt Nation readers, there’s just swollen, bruised malodourous refuse, colonies of feeding maggots, and putrid black earth the color of old humus and coffin dust.