Artist: Out of the Mouth of Graves
Album: Harbinger Uncerimonious
Label: Vargheist Records
Release Date: 31/03/2022
Country: United State
The trio that brought you Psionic Madness are back but this time in the form of Out of the Mouth of Graves, with the new project’s first album Harbinger Uncerimonious set for release on March 31st through Vargheist Records.
On the album we have Justin Vølus on vocals, Nicholas Turner on lead guitar and Jared Moran on rhythm guitar and drums. Together the trio present us with a filthy, dissonant, experimental brand of cavernous death metal. The entire album is dripping in murky atmosphere and swamp-like distortion and feedback. I’m almost reminded of Ulcerate with the level of immersive atmosphere achieved throughout the release.
The guitarwork is completely unpredictable but all consuming. It becomes a swirling maelstrom of disorienting riffs that surround the listener and feel like they are coming from every direction. The drum work and vocals have the same swirling, dizzying effect. As a listener you can never pin down where the music is coming at you from as each element really feels like its hitting you from every direction. This gives the music a suffocating and inescapable feeling to it and honestly, I think that one of the best words to describe the album is claustrophobic. For this we have to equally thank the musicianship on the album, as well as the superb engineering and mixing on the album by Nicholas Tuner, as well as the mastering work by Will at Dead Air Studios.
The vocals on the album are two-fold, the first being raw shrieked/screeched style that reminds me somewhat of Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan’s rawer vocals. The second is a deeply guttural, at times almost gurgled style that really adds to the cavernous nature of the music. Nicholas’ wild, meandering riffs are easily recognisable throughout the album and work to truly compliment both vocal styles. These work in tandem with Jared’s signature drumming style, which on this release has actually been toned down a bit. This is done to allow moments of atmospheric focus to shine through, his signature dizzying style does explode out of these segments with force though.
The band draw a comparison between their music and Portal in their Bandcamp description and I honestly have to agree with it. That same chaotic yet deliberate energy that has garnered Portal a reputation is being true extreme metal innovators and visionaries is present on this release. While people may listen to bands such as this or Portal and say “this is just chaotic noise” those people clearly have no understanding of extreme metal of this nature. They can’t seem to find the rhythmic patterns strewn throughout each and every song. What they don’t understand is that dissonant death metal such as this works through numerous disjointed bursts of rhythm and melody that are broken up by chaotic, raw segments of fury and aggression.
Personally, I absolutely love what the band have done here and think that this is easily one of my favourite releases not only by these musicians collectively but by Vargheist Records as a whole and at present sits as one of my favourite death metal releases of the year. So, if you’re an extreme metal fan then this should be at the top of your listening list.
Listen to and order the album: