GraveCoven are a newish US duo who have released a couple of demos and a single before this twenty minute EP. The press release notes them as black doom and as the first song ‘Summoning Vengeance’ growls out of the speakers, I’m very much hit by a wall of downtuned, thick Teitanblood rumble of nastiness. It has that drum driven low end engine and a subterranean, cavernous feeling to the vocals. The time changes and occasional peep of melody, though, are a bit more light and shade though. Still a furious opening and rather impressive.

Second song ‘Furious Flies’ then kind of goes a bit more traditional or orthodox in style, a Norwegian taste to the palate. The riff is (comparatively) brighter and there are some, well, not exactly clean vocals but clear, crying voices which with the riff and a slight use of keyboards I think, give a less feral and less monomaniacal nod towards the kind of area the UKs RID howl within. ‘Spiritual Violence’ follows a similar furrow but more melodic and still with the heads down drumming. It’s good but for me has less of an individual voice somehow. ‘The Ecstasy Of Hatred’ though dives back into the pit with a chainsaw edge to the riff, a nice touch of the howling bestial and a belligerent series of howls. It has a boatload of sludge atmosphere and full on black metal riffing and is an excellent end to the EP.

Looking online it seems that the guys involved are spread over three or four current bands based around the sludge end of the spectrum so no idea how much attention GraveCoven are going to get from them, but this is a very, very fine start – three of the four tracks here have a glistening black nugget of real personality and feral nastiness and a great balance between the relentless riff and more defining character. I really hope to hear more from GraveCoven.

Oh yeah and their logo is even by black/death metal standards utterly indecipherable…

 (7.5/10 Gizmo)