Come To Grief – “Pray For The End” EP (Grievance Records)
Standing alongside doom noise legends like Eyehategod and the cult of Iron Monkey are Grief, or as they are now known, Come To Grief as named after their 1994 debut album. Formed in 1991 by guitarist Terry Savastano, their extreme style mixed doom, noise and crust punk into a psychotropic sound that fed depression, anxiety and ultimately suicide – if you lasted that long. Unable to rise out’ve the underground owing to unstable line ups, the band finally called it quits around 2001. However, by that time Grief had established their legacy through 4 full length albums, a live release, numerous splits and EPs, along with tours of the US and Europe. With extreme metal genres blossoming over the next decade, Savastano decided to reform the band, rename it, and welcome back drummer Chuck Conlon from 2000’s “… And Man Will Become The Hunted…” before touring once more with bands like Eyehategod and The Obsessed, as well as appearing at multiple festivals including Roadburn, Maryland Deathfest and Austin Terror Fest. A string of EPs, splits and singles has followed since 2017, indicating that at last, Savastano has found the line up stability that eluded the band in his youth. “Pray For The End” is his latest 3 track EP and amply lives up to its ominous title! Think grim and nasty down tuned riffs that shred viciously and sink to putrefying effect on your skin and you will begin to understand why this band were so feared in their time and now still burn so corrosively! With an absolutely massive bass from Randy Larsen (Slow Death, ex-Cable, Empty Flowers , ex-Isis, ex-Hex Inverter) backing the huge Sabbathy doom, Jonathan Hébert’s ear piercing screamo adds the final deathly caress on this savage EP. Opening with ‘Ignorance Is Surely Bliss’, the dirty guitars rev up the noise as Conlon’s drumming starts to pound before Hébert screams his way to the fore as the tidal waves of doom from himself and Savastano hits and engulfs you in down tuned bliss. With the reverb smoking out of the twin guitars, ‘March Of The Maggots’ comes plodding in, crushing you asunder as the high pitch horror from Hébert drills into your mind across the song’s 7 minute duration, interspersed by doom warbles and breaks before degenerating into a more depressive passage reminiscent of the band’s psych past towards the end. Ending with ‘Raping The Willing’, it’s another 7 minute monolith of unhurried sheer heaviness inducing instant headbanging that keeps going through catchy swamp warbles and down tuned melodies finally bringing this crushing EP to a cataclysmic end. Upon analysis, this new approach may be where Come To Grief have fared better than their younger selves in tightening things up through better arrangements, catchier material and quality production which is amply evident here, while equally not losing the extremeness of their respected past. Either way, do you wanna fuck around….?