PICK OF THE WEEK: Gravesend spill fuel on fire, deliver black grind on ‘Methods of Human Disposal’

We don’t live in very habitable times. I’ll give you a second to write that down for your records. We’ve gone over all the usual suspects here from pestilence to fascist government policy to people just being complete assholes to one another for no good reason, and it’s almost like we need to find someone to go in and remove the roots with callousness and malice.

Not sure if NYC’s Gravesend are up to the physical task, because that’s a lot of people to hunt down, but the music on their debut record “Methods of Human Disposal” might be as good a first step as we can get. With 15 tracks running a little more than 27 minutes, this is a collection that refuses to let you catch your breath and steady yourself, because they provide no time for that. Instead, the band—vocalist/guitarist/synth player A, bassist/synth player/backing vocalist S, drummer G—pepper you with bursts that mash black metal, thrash fire, and grindcore fits of rage into the same package, making this a record that will bruise you mentally, spiritually, and physically as you writhe on the floor bleeding.   

“Fear City” opens with synth fog, strange vibes, and shouts bristling, creating panic as we move toward “STH-10” that delivers decimating drums and doom from the start. The bass ricochets as punches flatten everything, and that mashes into the title track where creaky growls and relentless playing set the tone early. The drums light up and furious howls pound into your chest before everything is set ablaze, and sounds retreat into the ether. “Ashen Piles of the Incinerated” serves up thrashy death that’s tasty and sharp, unloading viciously as growls swirl in the air. The pace remains punchy and grating, pulling headfirst into “End of the Line” where the volcanic riffs shed early blood. The heat spreads as the pressure mounts noticeably, ending everything in a death maul. “Subterranean Solitude” is lightning fast as the guitars shred muscle, guts are splattered liberally, and the end bashes out and toward “Unclaimed Remains” that re-ignites the aggression into rock-defacing violence. The bass plods as the drums deliver chaos, while the growls creak beneath the filth. The playing finds a way to increase the danger even further, ending in a smoking pile of ash.

“Verrazano Floater” has drums echoing, the playing going for the throat, and an assault that feels like it tears all the way through your chest, paving the way for “Eye for an Eye” that acts as a strange, noise-glazed interlude track that makes it feel like you’re locking in fever dream. “Trinity Burning” brings stomping guitars and a churning pace that meet up with drumming that comes unglued. The feeling is maniacal and warped, making your brain feel like it’s dripping from your ears onto the ground below. “Needle Park” is blown up right away by the drumming as the playing brings new levels of heaviness and volatility, as growls tear flesh from bone. “Absolute Filth” is aptly named as it arrives with unforgiving sentiment, growls that sound like they’ve been soaking in a sewer, and an explosion of chaos that sends shrapnel flying. It’s complete devastation, leaving ash in its wake as it moves toward “The Grave’s End” that’s fast, ugly, and a blinding feral display that feels like utter slaughter. “Scum Breeds Scum” quickly takes off heads as it launches, moving at a merciless pace and feeling properly out of control, setting the stage for finale “Concrete Feet” that flattens upon arrival. The drums explode as savage vocals eat away at your psyche, landing blow after blow even as you cower for mercy on the ground from an assailant that just won’t stop.

Gravesend’s debut record “Methods of Human Disposal” certainly pulls no punches as they burn seamlessly from song to song, making these 27 minutes a physical and mental challenge that you might not be ready to absorb. Their mix of black metal, thrash, and grind works like a perfect beast, offering a multi-faceted attack that’s nearly impossible to manage. There should be no doubt this world remains drowning in misery and filth, and Gravesend spend their time smearing your face in reality until it damn near suffocates you.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/warforgravesend

To buy the album, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/gravesend

For more on the label, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/