OF GRAVES AND GODS
"Slit Throat Andromeda"

(Candlelight)

01. Slit Throat Andromeda
02. Scars Make Memories
03. In Our Dying Ashes
04. Heaven's Death
05. Tossed Out and Torched
06. That Which Comes Between Part I
07. That Which Comes Between Part II
08. Kyrie
09. Internal Holocaust
10. The Aftermath Of
11. When Everyone You Love Is Dead

RATING: 6/10

Rumbling up from the New Mexico scene, OF GRAVES AND GODS profess to a lot of diverse influences. And their debut album does indeed veer from hardcore to metalcore to Gothenburg riffery, with a lot of brutal breakdowns and thrashy riffing. Their vocals are harsh and deathly, with the occasional heavily-treated bit of spoken-word to add that pretentious 1998-era hardcore tinge.

In fact, "Slit Throat Andromeda" as a whole hearkens back to a few years ago, when metal and hardcore first started getting mixed on a large scale, without commercial tinges like clean vocal choruses or hard rock hooks. OF GRAVES AND GODS create a much heavier, more primal monster here, wearing their CONVERGE, MESHUGGAH, and AT THE GATES influences on their sleeves with little in the way of concessions to accessibility.

From what I can gather, OF GRAVES AND GODS are a young band. Their relative inexperience manifests itself in some clichéd lyrics and the occasional bit of clunkiness in the songwriting and arranging. The major stumbling block for people here, though, is going to be the fact that very little here stands out. The opening riff of "That Which Comes Between, Part II" is like a jolt of caffeine, simple and catchy, but it mainly rocks hard because it's the first thing in twenty minutes to catch the listener's attention.

In fact, other than a pretty useless ending breakdown (complete with "think for yourself" exhortation), "That Which Comes Between" is the best song on the disc, one that stands out in a sea of faceless, blustering riffing. Don't get me wrong, "Slit Throat Andromeda" isn't a bad record by any stretch… it's just not one anyone will go back to often. Perhaps this is a case of a decent band being signed too early, but it seems that OF GRAVES AND GODS still have a ways to go before realizing the scads of potential they definitely have. For now, they're destined to get lost in the shuffle of an overcrowded scene.

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