Cult Graves - Official Website

Strange Customs

United States Country of Origin: United States

Strange Customs
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: EP
Release Date: October 2nd, 2020
Label: Independent
Genre: Black, Death

Note: Digital and CD release via Godz ov War Productions on February 27th, 2021. 'Demo '18' is an exclusive bonus to the CD version.

Review by Alex on April 4, 2021.

Cult Graves' newly born beast of EP is a blood-pumping assault on the ears of the listener from start to end. To be rightly released through Godz Ov War whose catalog continues to climb and be magnified with material that has become coveted in the eyes of many, shows us the lengths to which this deadly duo would go to achieve what they want within the sordid subgenre.

What would emerge as a rendition and bow to old school death metal easily begins to tear itself apart and fragment into a deranged mess of barbed-wire brutality and bludgeoning. Like tossing random instruments from 50 feet above to the ground, the material on this EP emits a ransacking clamor that you’d begin to experience with the introduction of 'Necrophidius'. However, there is structure and purpose to it all that you would begin to understand as the tunes progress and develop. The vocals also would follow in the footsteps that’d go from a dirty uproar of death metal growls to a hulking spew of Ooga Booga barks and howls all the while riding the instrumental stampede.

Caveman style sonic architecture is the motto on Cult Graves' Strange Customs. 'Abomination Rites' and 'Cruor Upheaval' are death metal grittiness; colorless and rugged, these tunes are barbaric and devastating. But even within the chaotic soup of death and black lies a glowing display of instrumental skill vacillating the record. Expansive doom metal sections can be heard stretching to consume the material before resisted by the onslaught of resurging blows. The guitars are in your face with persistent havoc of their own to supplement the throbbing drum kit frenzy. However, you’ll have to dig beyond the surface a bit to find the magic of the riffs.

For the veteran listener, Strange Customs will sound like food for the soul, to the newcomer, the interpretation would only reflect a torrent of confusion. Along with the band's past demo material being added to the CD release, the record sums up to a 36-minute practice in desecration. It's good to see yet another commendable and quality entity given sanctuary within the forsaken morass of Godz Ov War. Far too often capable bands get lost within the cluster of noise, however, that’s not to be the case with Cult Graves. Strange Customs is a sonic nuisance that will please audiences favorable of such crushing calamity.

Rating: 8 out of 10