Graves at Sea’s latest album has been making waves—or rather, shattering dreams—since its release last month on Relapse Records. The cult doom / sludge quartet has previously released a number of underground demos and splits that have both disgusted and enraptured over the years without contrition. Now, finally, with the release of their debut full-length album, “The Curse That Is,” the misery has crystallized into inexorable grooves, with tremendously heavy riffs and tortured screeches in this commanding LP.
Each track on the album begins and ends in colossal, foreboding instrumental resonance. The stoner doom element seems even more prevailing here than I’d noticed from them previously. It acts as a mammoth, pendulous hammer—swinging back and forth through each song, wreaking devastation. However, amidst the bottomless heaviness, there are beautifully blended interludes of relent, revealing string instrumentation and depressive melodies without abandon.
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Audiophiles and metal heads, keep your eyes and ears open for Graves at Sea. They surely have crushing and fantastic things on the horizon, and “The Curse That Is” is certainly an omen for what is to come in underground metal. Graves at Sea consists of Nathan Misterek on vocals, Nick Phit on guitar, Bryan Sours on drums, and Jeff McGarrity on bass, and “The Curse That Is” is their long-awaited debut full-length album.