Reviewed: August 2018
Released: 2018, self released
Reviewer: Rebekah Ann
On first look at this band you’d think they’d be going for a Municipal Waste ‘party thrash’ type sound, but they really steer far from that, thank God. What Degrave bring is harsh edged vocals, meaty progressive guitar displays, hints of groove, psychedelia and doom metal, a furious pace and all played with shit tonnes of musical ability. Think ‘The big 4’, Vektor, maybe Nuclear Assault, maybe Sodom… no bullshit, just neck-wrecking, straight down the line thrash metal.
Degrave are from Missouri, deep in the US south. This is their second self-released full length EP, with ‘Full Tilt’ being released in 2017. Turns out their latest album ‘Degrave’ was funded by a Crowd Funder campaign. If that isn’t a local show of support and appreciation then I don’t know what is. After a spot of delving into their online presence, it’s blatantly obvious how much these lads love what they’re doing, and it’s also quite obvious how much their local metal scene love them.
The band consists of Jordan Roedel on lead shrieking vocals (with plenty of owww’s) and his chugging savage bass lines, Clyde Daniels on backing guitar, who blends seamlessly a diverse range of styles where you’re not quite sure what’s around the corner, with Dylan Volmert’s lead guitar and Jeff Kearnly beating the living shit out of drums.
The first track ‘Telegraft’ puts up a good fight, with an initial kick in the teeth from Roedel’s vocals, nice varying riff structures and solid pounding moments to swing your hair to. It’s good, but it’s not massively memorable. Gems lie further along in the album: there’s some cracking multi-layered vocals in the second track ‘Ascension’ which adds to the growing nightmarish hypnotic elements. I love how the riffs and drums take on a psychedelic edge, which is kind of unusual for this genre. The track ‘Tortured’, for example, gives the sound of a thrash infused hallucinogenic stomp down a dark alley. ‘Inside Looking out’ is a nice little interlude, which you’ll be ready for at this point, almost like a moment of clarity in the chaos. ‘Shades of Black’ is groove laden, with dark as hell vocals and a gem on the album, still thrashy but with a darker, heavier edge, with nice tempo changes and enough variation to keep you guessing. ‘The Hollow Watcher’ follows suit, fast and dark, just how we like it. You get the feeling they purposefully leave the last track ‘Hatriot’ for the end. It starts with a blinding bass solo that builds up into a full on aural assault leaving the listener wondering what the hell happened in the last 40-something minutes…
This album has some absolute blinders, and it also has some good tracks that aren’t going to stick out, but won’t require skipping. There’re possibly too many guitar solos thrown in, but then again it’s kind of expected in the genre, so maybe that’s just a personal preference. I’m also not 100% sure on the mix levels either, with the bass being hard to hear in places, so leaving it feeling a little flimsy. It will, however, be on my thrash rotation for, I’m sure, years to come.
3. All You Need
5. New World Disorder
6. Inside Looking Out
7. Shades of Black
8. The Hollow Watcher
9. Grander Grandeur
Jordan Roedel – Bass, Vocals (backing)
Clyde Daniels – Guitars, Vocals (backing)
Dylan Volmert – Guitars, Vocals (lead)
Jeff Kearney – Drums (2017-present)
Facebook – Degrave
Bandcamp – Degrave