Grave Lines – “Fed Into The Nihilist Engine” (New Heavy Sounds)
No strangers to the London’s heavy / misanthropic music scene (having had stints in prior bands including Throne, Sea Bastard, Dead Existence, Casual Nun, Landskap, War Wolf, Dysteria and The Death Letter), Grave Lines are a veteran 4 piece with their own brand of fearsome yet stylish aggro doom / sludge as manifested amply on this impressive sophomore! With influences ranging from Neurosis to Dead Can Dance, the album’s title is based on the band’s exploration into negativity, something they feel ‘…is symbolic of our greatest flaw and the self defeating nature of our species…’. Likewise, the music of Grave Lines reflects that pain and misery, be it through their massive droning fuzzed out riffs, or their more ambient moments when ethereal melancholia comes into play in keeping to the constant of gloomy melodicism. Opening with the mammoth 14 minute ‘Failed Skin’ with its dark pagan riffing reminiscent of Primordial before the sludge hits home, Jake Harding’s hoarse drawls match the bottom heavy noise, while on the quiet ‘Loss Betrayal’, the contrast couldn’t be greater with his alternating clean and baritone tones, backed by the femme soul of drummer Julia Owen. Mixing the two styles in ‘Silent Salt’, the reach of Harding’s powerful voice is immense as it is shouted over the mellow droning guitars and phat bass, although they certainly get their own back on ‘Self Mutilation With Fire And Stone’, a colossal reverb drenched doom piece with Harding’s laid back stoner wails only adding even more to the power of the track. Definitely one of London’s key upcoming metal bands (if not already an underground super group) who will feature at this year’s Desert Fest, prepare to be awed by the incredible listening experience of Grave Lines as you get “Fed Into The Nihilist Engine” – yeah!!!!