Deathgrave, It’s Only Midnight (Tankcrimes 2023)

Grinding death metal band Deathgrave are back with more tales of woe on their second long-player, It’s Only Midnight.

Rummaging over the adjoining lands of grindcore and death metal, Deathgrave snapped to life in 2014. Their publishing trajectory was primarily along the avenue of splits until 2018 when they released their debut full-length record, So Real, It’s Now. And now, just five year later, they are letting loose with another one, It’s Only Midnight. Deathgrave is Andre Cornejo (vocals), Clint Zane (drums), Fern Alberts (bass), and Greg Wilkinson (guitar).

The music on the new record is presented mainly in the short form, with songs running just a minute or two, plus a sprinkling of threes. While this form is common in hardcore and punk, it has only recently infiltrated death metal, with varying successes. Here, though, the hammer strikes every nail, and this set list is a perp walk of killers.

There are twelve hot takes included, starting with “Ant Baby,” a buzzing swarm of guitars and beating drums. The vocals are appropriately croaked, and mostly discernable. The buzzing takes turns with a heavy riff that is almost doomy. “On All Fours” is dungeon music in a horror movie at first, switching to a more active and aggressive pace to achieve a forward clank. Black metal screeching enters and then all bets are off. “Tony’s Deli” continues from the previous track for a touch then goes into sci fi realms and finds that chaos exists there, too. “Sewer Runs Through Her” is more than just a catchy title – it is an excellent road running ramble. I thought I was getting the hang of the album, then this track dropped, causing me to lose confidence in my powers of prediction.

In fact, there are many surprises on the dark journey of It’s Only Midnight. “Rats Are Back” is a stand-out track for me due to its merciless heaviness. I also especially like “Your Rulers Are Here” because it has an inexhaustibly rugged nature. The intimate directness of the anchor piece, “Atomic Narcotic Withdrawal,” also has an undeniable appeal. When you hear this record you will find your own favorites, I have no doubt. Recommended.

It’s Only Midnight is out on Friday, April 14th through Tankcrimes. Hit up the links below for music and merch.




© Wayne Edwards

Deathgrave, It’s Only Midnight (Tankcrimes 2023)