GraVil: 'Thoughts Of A Rising Sun'
'Thoughts Of A Rising Sun', the debut self release from London based Metal band GraVil, is described by their vocalist, Grant Stacey as, "...Uncompromised melodic and aggressive Death/Industrial Metal".
]You certainly can hear a blend of all the influencing genres and they do take a unique approach to mixing these influences within their compositions.
The album opens with, 'Structurally Unsound'. I wasn't keen on the clean vocal harmony segments on this track as they seemed a little off kilter somehow, but that one tiny point on this track alone, was my only issue with the whole album. On the positive side, the guitar solo in the latter end more than made up for this small issue and I really liked the harsh vocal screams throughout.
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Continuing with 'Enemy Within', which has addictively catchy keyboards and a chugging riff mix that repeats throughout the track, which I liked.
Fast, intense, chugging guitars and a bit of an underlying groove gives 'Beyond Reprieve' a lot of appeal. I liked the two levels of harsh vocals, particularly the deeper ones. The vocals are even better on 'The Wanderer', there is real power behind the lower harsh vocals and the harmonies are much better here, I also loved the spiralling, technical riff segments.
'Something Worth Chasing' initially opens with keyboards at a slower and more reflective tempo before expanding out into tight little chugging riffs mixed with little guitar bursts, a great combo and a fabulous solo in the final quarter of the track, tailing off with the keyboards once more.
Leading flawlessly into 'Interlude' a great little reflective instrumental which is keyboard led, to the greater part, before then flowing into 'Thoughts Of A Rising Sun', which has some more excellent, double layered vocals and catchy repeat riff.
The tempo picks back up for 'The Struggle' which has a very good, strong, clean vocal segment. I also thought this track has slight a Swedish melodeath feel to it, particularly coming from the solo. By the time I reached 'Through The Eyes Of Spartans', it was apparent that all the stops had now been pulled, machine gun riffs, brutal vocals followed by a great solo that just spirals away, taking your mind with it before the brutal vocals drag you back to ground again, nice!
'Bottle Of Shadows' has a reflective and haunting opener that feels quite sinister before gradually building and developing into a catchy and complex track. The final track 'March Of The Titans' (featuring Cradle of Filth) has a head nodding repeat riff mixed with atmospheric keyboards and a crazy couple of blistering guitar segments worked into the mix. The harsh vocals are at their very best here also. Definitely an imaginative mix and my favourite track of the album, an excellent ending.
As first albums go, this is very good; it seems to get better with every track, the further into the album you get, which is always an encouraging sign. I look forward to seeing what these guys can produce in the future.
'Thoughts Of A Rising Sun' was recorded at Escape Route Studios in London with producer Dan Abela (Gallows, Bleed From Within, Voices, Silent Descent) The album is available from the bands website, http://www.gravilmetal.com.