Area: Melbourne, AU
Date of release: 29/05/19
Record Label: Greyscale Records
For Fans Of: Rings Of Saturn, really good breakdowns
Next Gig: Alpha Wolf w/ Gravemind - Hobart 18+
“Is there anyone out there, searching for a meaning in all this white noise? Breathe in the ash”
Gravemind are back at it again with another phenomenal release that gives us a glimpse of how they will be pushing their own musical and creative boundaries to new limits in the near future. Gone are the deathcore-dominant tunes and demonic vocal stylings of one of Melbourne’s most innovative outfits as their latest single, ‘Volgin’, has been unleashed alongside the announcement that their next album, "Conduit", will be released under Greyscale Records in July. (Pre-sales available now)
The whole band kicks the door down right away, with layers of aggressive blast beats, guitars and an ear-splitting yell to grab your attention and snap your neck before settling into syncopated drum beats and vocal patterns that further flesh out the sprinkles of ‘djent’ influence Gravemind have scattered throughout their more recent work. It was a long time waiting, but ‘Volgin’ is an excellent follow up to their last single, ‘Lifelike’, which also really started to show signs of the band’s evolution of their sound. In saying that, it also acts as an excellent precursor to "Conduit" by only offering small slithers of how that album is going to sound as a whole. Gravemind have managed to maintain their integral ‘Gravy’ sound, but it’s just different enough to still have me wholly invested in what comes next.
Dylan Gillies-Parsons is really starting to come to his own as a vocalist, his technique has always been impeccable, but their gradual separation from deathcore as a genre has really allowed him to show off how good he really is. Whilst never a cookie-cutter front man by any means, it is becoming easier to identify Dylan with his distinct screams and style nowadays (haunting whispers and spoken word anyone?) As per usual, the rest of the band pull their weight with ease, main writer and guitarist Damen Bredin is producing the goods once again from a compositional aspect with plenty of opportunity to show off the talent of other guitarists Aden Young and Michael Petritsch. And if you're familiar with Boris the Blade, you’ll know that Gravemind’s current drummer, Karl Stellar, has chops on the tubs for days; you could say he’s quite a stellar drummer (insert 'djenty' ba dum tiss). Even as the relentless, raw brutality of "The Hateful One" slowly dissipates, Karl displays some truly phenomenal drumming that will assist in keeping this band a step above others moving forward.
One thing that really stood out for me in this song is that no section seems to overstay its welcome. No riff too long, no breakdown too extended, ‘Volgin’ moves through a sonic labyrinth at a fast pace whilst simultaneously never moving too quickly to keep up with. In saying that, I really wanted the first groove to go for just a bit longer as I was still pulling a stank face as the song picks up the pace again and propels forward. Dylan also seems to be developing a bit of an affinity for utilizing his vocals outside of screams. With the aforementioned whispers making an appearance, I’m very hopeful to encounter another narration/monologue song or section on "Conduit" that is in the vein of one of "The Deathgate"’s less spoken about tracks, ‘Deadspace’. He has a unique way of conveying emotion with his voice that I think isn’t comparable to anyone else right now, it gives their songs that little extra something and allows Gravemind to continue to separate themselves from the pack of bands also trying to "make it".
On the topic of the band’s innovation, their approach to marketing their product is what should ultimately propel the boys into superstardom and be a driving force on their path to world domination. From a full blown comic book released with ‘Death Of Teyolia’ in 2016, completed with comic-esque lyric video, to cryptic clues that allowed us to piece together some fragments from "The Deathgate" leading up to its release in 2017, Gravemind have let us dip our toes in the water for 2019 by offering visual hints that ended up ultimately being a reveal for "Conduit" itself and signing with Greyscale. For all we know, they probably HAVE dropped more hints around social media that we are completely oblivious to. Keep your eyes peeled moving forward because Gravy are NOT a band to do things down the straight and narrow, they will keep you on a fun and engaging ride over the next few weeks.
In conclusion, I can’t fault this song, or this band, for anything with this release. Excitement builds for what’s to come, they have maintained their sound whilst further developing themselves as musicians and now have a vehicle in Greyscale to get them to the next level. Gravemind both deserve and demand your attention and if you’ve been holding off on giving them a listen, now is absolutely the time.
"Conduit" will be released on July 19 and Gravemind will be touring with Make Them Suffer throughout June on multiple dates around Australia and rounding off the month alongside Alpha Wolf for some Tasmania dates.
Would You Go And See Them (WYGAST) 5/5
Personal Enjoyment: 10/10