Album: Methods of Human Disposal
Label: 20 Buck Spin
Genre: Black Metal, Grindcore, War Metal
Country: United States Release Date: February 19, 2021
For Fans Of: Archgoat, Revenge, Blasphemy
One of the best things about metal, in all its various sub-genres, is its ability to capture the essence of a specific region. Norwegian Black Metal often feels like the cold north where it was created. Floridian Death Metal evokes a hot, humid swamp, and Bay Area Thrash is a non-stop party, much like California was in the 80’s. With their debut album, Methods of Human Disposal, New York City’s Gravesend has created an album that is the sonic equivalent of waking up from a blackout in the most dirty and dangerous part of the city.
After a demo that really put eyes on Gravesend, they are set to release their debut album on 20 Buck Spin, a label that continues to be the progenitors of all things quality in extreme music. Blending black metal and grindcore, the album has a sound that is not dissimilar from some of the greats in the “ War Metal” genre. Side note, I hate the term “War Metal”, it’s just blackened grind! Where Gravesend is able to set themselves apart from the pack is in the feeling that their music brings out of a listener. Where most bands doing this sound go for an evil and aggressive sound, Gravesend leans into the filth, creating one of the most wonderfully disgusting sounding albums I have heard in a long time.
Methods of Human Disposal opens with a synth-laden intro track that is straight out of a horror movie before transitioning into a plodding instrumental that builds and builds with a sense of impending doom. At this point the album takes off with breakneck speed and simply does not let up until the album is over. The musicianship is great throughout the duration of the album and it boasts a level of extreme that puts most of their peers to shame.
When I first put this album on I was convinced that I was going to love it by the fifth track and was ready to write a shining review, touting it as an early front-runner for year end lists and calling it 2021’s best yet. The problem is that, while enjoying each song, it often felt that I was listening to the same track over and over. As I gave the album repeated listens, the songs started to run together and I wasn’t even sure which track I was on anymore. By about the 4th or 5th listen, the album had simply become background music. Really good background music but background music nonetheless. The problem here is that this monotonous sound really made the album feel long, which is not a good thing with an album that is under half an hour.
I know that at this point, it probably sounds like I disliked this album but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I think that this is a really strong debut album that just could have benefitted from a little bit of editing. The first two tracks felt like an unnecessary double intro and a couple tracks in the middle (honestly pick any three) could have been taken out and this album could have gone from good to great. If the album was a lean and mean 20 minutes, I think I would love it, instead of just liking it.
All in all, I think that Gravesend accomplished exactly what they were setting out to do. They created a really strong album with a sound that is unique to the band and is sure to continue the band’s rise in notoriety. Gravesend has a ton of potential and will be a band that is here to stay. I can’t wait to see what they do next.
Lastly, this might just be a very personal thing but, Methods of Human Disposal’s replay value will definitely be hindered as a result of being stuck at home thanks to COVID. I would have loved to have this album at the gym and it’s really great in the car.
Rating: 7 / 10
- Fear City
- Methods of Human Disposal
- Ashen Piles of the Incinerated
- End of the Line
- Subterranean Solitude
- Unclaimed Remains
- Verrazano Floater
- Eye for an Eye
- Trinity Burning
- Needle Park
- Absolute Filth
- The Grave’s End
- Scum Breeds Scum
- Concrete Feet
Total Playing Time: 27:15