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Early Graves - "We: The Guillotine" (CD)

Early Graves - "We: The Guillotine" CD cover image

"We: The Guillotine" track listing:

1. Ballistics (2:46)
2. Safety Net Acrobats (4:04)
3. House Nigger (4:01)
4. First Name: William (1:50)
5. Rest (2:17)
6. Last Name: Porter (4:50)
7. The Man In Black Fled Across The Desert (2:07)
8. Ghosts Among Us (4:05)
9. Borrowed Teeth, Borrowed Claws (2:59)
10. Here There Be Monsters (7:06)
11. City of Angels of Nothing at All (3:31)

Reviewed by on December 9, 2009

"Early Graves does some interesting things on this album, but the only thing I could think about the entire way through was, ‘Coalesce, but angrier.'"

If there’s one thing I have a hard time with in music, it is genre saturation. You see it in all genres in one form or another. For example, in the post rock genre, a lot of bands are said to copy Explosions in the Sky. Early Graves is a band that I’ve seen described as crust punk. However, upon listening to “We: The Guillotine,” they are less akin to bands like Avskum and Disfear and more to bands like Converge and Coalesce. Early Graves does some interesting things on this album, but the only thing I could think about the entire way through was, ‘Coalesce, but angrier.'

This doesn’t mean that the album has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The riffing is less punk and more discordance and some mathcore-esque work, which the band does interesting things with here and there. “Ghosts Among Us” and “Ballistics” actually have short solos in them, and the former song has some of the most interesting guitar work on the album. The music is fast and angry all the way through, except for the song “Rest,” which is an interesting break in the assault. The drums are fast, technical, and cymbal heavy. The bass, when audible, is my favorite part; it has a twang and crusty sound to it. I just wish the band would have utilized it more.

Unfortunately, this album really doesn’t stand out as anything special. Early Graves arranges the lyrical structures in a very repetitive format. It almost sounds like the band wanted to be different, but in doing so, actually makes the music repetitive. Some tracks have bits that stand out, but these bits are so few and far between (and short lived) that it’s almost not worth it.

Early Graves definitely has potential. Fans of fast, angry music will like the album, but I can’t say I haven’t heard this before. “We: The Guillotine” could have been an amazing crust album. Hopefully, the new album will be an improvement on this one.

Highs: Angry and fast, some stand out parts.

Lows: Very repetitive and nothing new.

Bottom line: Fans of angry music will like this, but don't expect anything that hasn't been done before.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)