Mother Of Graves, Where The Shadows Adorn (Wise Blood 2022)

The debut full-length album from Indianapolis doom band Mother of Graves is Where The Shadows Adorn.

Mother Of Graves came together in Indiana’s capital city in 2019. Just last year they released their first EP, In Somber Dreams, and the title track from that record made on to Metal Blade Records’ Metal Massacre XV anthology. I think of their music as doom metal because I have such an abiding affection for that kind of music. In fact, Mother Of Graves has a broader reach and, while their sound is massively heavy, it spills out into the musical lands that surround doom. The band is Brandon Howe (vocals, keys). Chris Morrison (guitar), Ben Sandman (guitar), Corey Clark (bass), and Don Curtis (drums).

There are eight songs on the new album, beginning with the title track. A solitary piano breaks the silence and starts an avalanche that is slow at first, then builds momentum and force until is flows over the cliff. Howe’s commanding voice delivers the message surrounded by abominable riffs and lyrical keys., Rather than being in juxtaposition, the combination and enmeshing of these forces coalesce into a greater whole. While the opening track is a shining example, you can expect this manner of creation in the other songs as well.

“Rain” is a bit more straightforward in its construction and features a beautifully somber movement. “Tears Like Wine” goes in another direction and has the feeling of a story (and/or a warning) told by a traveling heavy metal mage. Very mystical. “Of Solitude and Stone” has one of the greatest ranges in sound and force in the set and “Ghost in the Twilight” is filled to its very edges with drama.

It all comes to a close on “The Caliginous Voice,” the longest track on the record. The lead-in bars are filled with emotion. When the big riffs land, you are in a state to accept the weight of the unfolding message. Paced perfectly, the song takes you on a journey that will stay I your mind long after the music stops. I would say the same about the album overall. Recommended.

Where The Shadows Adorn is out now through Wise Blood Records. You can listen and buy at the links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://motherofgraves.bandcamp.com/album/where-the-shadows-adorn

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/motherofgravesband/

Wise Blood Records, https://wisebloodrecords.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Mother Of Graves, Where The Shadows Adorn (Wise Blood 2022)

Wraith / Black Knife / Graveripper / Unholy Night, Faster Than the Fucking Devil (Wise Blood 2022)

If you are looking for speed, Wise Blood Records has a 4-way split for you featuring Wraith, Black Knife, Graveripper, and Unholy Night.

The label describes the record as “a compilation of black thrash and evil punk motored by hellfire. In the spirit of historic compilations like Warfare Noise and Speed Kills, this album assembles a murderer’s row of black thrash blasphemers: Wraith and Graveripper (both from Indiana) team up with Kentucky killers Black Knife, and Russian riff-demons Unholy Night.”

Each band contributes three songs, except Unholy Night who offers a pair. Wraith is up first. Their music is straight ahead blackened thrash – speeding guitars and ravaging percussion with gruff, threatening vocals. The tracks included are “Demons of Doubt,” “(Call Me) The Destroyer,” and “Seven Serpents.” Black Knife throws in a little more groove up front but that doesn’t slow down the riffs or the vile intent. They contribute “Land of the Dead,” “Gouge the Eyes Out, Steal the Soul,” and “Satanic Commander.”

Graveripper is a band I have been listening to a lot lately. I am currently enamored with their Radiated Remains EP. The music is sharp and precise thrash, and it is great. Graveripper’s songs are “Mind Filled With Dread,” “Night Frozen Black,” and “Tomb of the Oppressor.” Unholy Night closes the door on the four-way split with “Louder, Angrier” and “Ancient Rites.” It is an absolutely whirling menace, and it has the strongest black metal influence of the bunch. This is a killer record and a treasure trove for thrash fans. Recommended.

Faster Than the Fucking Devil is out on Friday, September 2nd through Wise Blood Records. Check out their website and go directly to the album at the Bandcamp link. Limited Edition vinyl is available from Wise Blood, Bonepick Records, and Husk Records. You can also get CDs, digital, and cassettes from Wise Blood. The digital will always be there, but the cassette and vinyl editions will probably sellout fast – get on it if you want one of those.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://wisebloodrecords.bandcamp.com/album/faster-than-the-fucking-devil

Wraith, https://www.wraithofficial.com/

Black Knife, https://www.facebook.com/blackknifeband/

Graveripper, https://www.facebook.com/graveripperofficial/

Unholy Night, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063770212145

Wise Blood Records, https://wisebloodrecords.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Wraith / Black Knife / Graveripper / Unholy Night, Faster Than the Fucking Devil (Wise Blood 2022)

Empty Throne, Glossolalia (Wise Blood Records 2021)

The debut album from Empty Throne brings together years of experience for a new take on Thrash and Black Metal.

The band formed only last year and yet its members have been playing in notable bands for many years. Witness: C.R. Petit (vocals), Mike Pardi (guitar), Jason Ellsworth (bass), and Gabe Seeber (drums). These musicians have contributed to bands ranging from Angerot to Abbath to Possessed and back again, honing skills and raising their game until they came together as Empty Throne.

Glossolalia has three long songs of heavy music that traverse many alleyways of heavy music. You could call it a lot of different things, starting with Black Metal and casting about in Thrash and Death Metal as well.

“And All Shall Know His Name” gets going with a gallop and the speed heats your blood up immediately. The technical expertise demonstrated in the precise playing of every instrument is impressive and this solid footing sets the music up for any turn it cares to take. “That Day Has Come” has a funereal opening segment that collapses under the savage thrashing metal attack that appears instantaneously and separates you from your senses. The guitars are ravaging and the bass is emblematic of a dark wizardry that lurks in the shadows and erupts when you least expect it.

“My Flesh The Temptation” closes the set and there is no wind-down at all. The tempo and energy are just as fierce at the end as the beginning. Layered vocals and relentless searing metal hammer until there is nothing left to smash. Tempo changes, when they occur, offer no respite. Instead they push deeper the dark ideas and imprint them in places where they will never fade. Glossolalia will stay with you. Highly recommended.

The EP is out now from Wise Blood Records and gatherable at all the usual places. Links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://emptythroneofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/emptythroneband

Wise Blood Records, https://wisebloodrecords.com/

Empty Throne, Glossolalia (Wise Blood Records 2021)

Mother Of Graves, In Somber Dreams (Wise Blood Records 2021)

The new EP from Indianapolis metal band Mother Of Graves is a melancholy shovelful of crossover Doom.

The musicians are Thomas Hunt (bass), Don Curtis (drums), Ben Sandman (guitar), Chris Morrison (guitar), and Brandon Howe (vocals). They are a new band with a lot of experience and a couple of singles under their belt. In Somber Dreams is their first EP. According to their Bandcamp entry, the band is “[n]amed after a mythological Latvian protector of cemeteries (Kapu māte)[.]” Their style is along the Melodic Death metal range, and the vocalizations bring classic Swedish bands to my mind. The music is heavy and serious in tone, relying on rhythm and synchronous constituents to mold a finished product.

There are four tracks on this inaugural release. “In Somber Dreams” is an introduction to the general bleak perspective of the music you are about to hear. It sets the stage and dresses it in funeral attire. “Nameless Burial” adds a voiceover to further the narrative depth of the incantation, ultimately devolving into disorder with a tinkling off-center piano and destabilized sonic surges at the end. “The Urn” is a mood piece with undulating utterances, doleful exertions, and an undeniable gothic tailwind. Finally there is “Deliverance,” lodged into my head as a soft and twinkling, with an insisting bass line and a tempo that picks up nicely three and a half minutes in.

The band says they are working on a full-length album and I am really looking forward to that. I have listened to these four songs a couple times and they are hanging with me, telling stories and making promises. I want to see where this all goes.

In Somber Dreams is out tomorrow in digital, cassette, and CD forms. Grab one for your very own at the Wise Blood Bandcamp page. Recommended.

Photo of the band snagged from their Facebook page.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://wisebloodrecords.bandcamp.com/album/in-somber-dreams

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/motherofgravesband/

Mother Of Graves, In Somber Dreams (Wise Blood Records 2021)