Graves At Sea are an inherently fascinating band. There are teenagers in this world whose parents have been waiting for this record longer than their children have been alive. That's how big a deal The Curse That Is is, and so Graves At Sea had a lot of pressure on them to deliver. Fortunately they do - in fact they go above and beyond, creating a sludge metal masterpiece that reflects everything that make this band great in the first place and guides the entire genre to the ethereal vision that bands like Graves At Sea have envisioned for so long.
There is something wonderfully twisted about the slow, trudging riffing found on The Curse That Is because couched within there are endless layers to unpack. The strange spiraling sounds contrasted with almost Black Cobra-esque broilers leaves you with an album that can use both lush, quasi symphonic harmonies and moods as well as harsh monochromatic soundscapes that leave you in a nihilistic haze. In other words - Graves At Sea are able to capture a broad swathe of what sludge is on The Curse That Is and I love it. It makes this album the kind of thing you can come back to time and time again, falling deeper in love each time.
With drones that come off as mildly reassuring, stomps that force your body into twisted motion and a guitar tone that is simply to die for The Curse That Is manages to be more than just another sludge record. It's a record that is exciting, potent and strangely beautiful. Even the variety of vocal sounds, from an Immortal like croak to a twisted Lord Mantis worthy sneer helps to give The Curse That Is it's profound artistry that will keep you rapt. All we can hope is that it doesn't take thirteen years for the bands next full length!
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