MetalBite Review by JD on 5/18/2017 4:45:53 PM
Over the years, I have heard lots of death metal… both good and fucking bad. Now with a glut of DM acts, we got to pick and choose the bands – ones that stand out and make a bit of a difference. Rather than wallow in the mediocrity.
Mountain Grave is a blackened death metal outfit from Indiana. Formed in 2005 by Brian Rush (Antica Arcana, Blood Freak, Duilliath, etc.), as a project, it ended up turning into something more. Heavy and chaotic, it tries to balance on the edges of metal and insanity- lapsing into one or another at will with bombastic results.
As I listen through the eight songs offered here, I was struck by two main things. The guitar work and the recording of the album. The guitarists (Aaron Whicker and Ray Carlyle) on this are damned good, giving exacting and brutal riffs that seem to stick in your head while fuelling the music… but the recording seems to muddle them together and separation between them are lost most of the time. The song writing is strong and impressive but only comes out in the end as above average – and goes no farther.
The album and the band are a paradox. They are musically as sound as anyone out there, but the way the recording muddies everything into a sonic mass that is hard to decipher, is never palatable-making the musicianship basically lost in the sludge. Add into that the song writing which is brilliant somehow is not showcased, lost in that muck of a recording. This could have been a great album, now simply pokes its nose over the crowd.
Rating: 6 out of 10