Futuristic New Wave Of Swedish Death Metal on this debut album from Greek band Gravastar is what we are promised here. There are definite industrial tones and spacey feelings straight off as this sets in and prepares to drag us into a black hole. Intentions are certainly worthy and on the opening intro piece we get what could be the very heartbeat of the birth of the universe itself. There’s a horror film sounding keyboard work that’s simple and melodic drawing us in and I wait for a bombastic blast to come. This it does and there’s a bit of a Finnish sounding keyboard crunch and some pile-driving drum beats before we are confronted by the vocals. At first I thought they sounded like the indignant squawk of some sort of exotic bird and after a few listens to the album my view remains the same. Unfortunately they are really not for me and I absolutely hate them. It’s difficult when you have to put down a single aspect of a band’s sound but I really dislike these vocals and have to wonder what on earth makes the band think they sound good; simple fact is the guy cannot sing to save his life. This also makes the whole album cascade down a wormhole of its own making. I begin to find myself picking faults at everything here
Keyboards on numbers like ‘Dark Energy’ sound like they would struggle to light a bulb let alone anything more powerful. The energy is just not there and they sound like they are being duly trotted out on a very cheap piece of equipment and the music itself is more limp than anything else and is being trotted out in a highly formulaic way kind of liking doing a painting by numbers. There are hints here to the likes of Children Of Bodom and The Deathstars (the biog mentions early Crematory) but everything is really wishy-washy with no actual substance to it. This kind of feels like the band have just gone into a studio an boshed out a demo and the self released status does not surprise me in the slightest. It canters onwards and the vocals really begin to grate on the nerves, rough and rawkus akin to nails on a blackboard. This is unfortunately one of those albums where I am really struggling to find something good to say about it and we all hate it when confronted by ones like this.
Embracing Nebula really does not help the cause playing some synth pop lines that would not be out of place on a Birthday Massacre song. Unfortunately the singer here has none of the beautiful dulcet tones of their singer Chibi and his attempts to simmer things down and attempt a ballad come across as horrible. I won’t even get on to how bad the actual lyrics are. Despite the futuristic fervour when they do hit a bit of a gallop on numbers like L.E.D.A. it sounds all so ten years ago and more retro than anything else and if I really wanted to listen to something like this I would no doubt rather go and batter out some Fear Factory or The Kovenant. Despite all the flaws penultimate number Pulsar with its catchy melody does stick out as being the best of a bad bunch. Anyway not wanting to bash this anymore I’m leaving ‘Genetic Genesis’ behind with the thoughts that a lot needs doing before the band attempt a follow up and the first thing is get a new singer.
(3/10 Pete Woods)