Grave Upheaval (Can’t Translate the Title Metal)

It’s hard to not like a band with a name like Grave Upheaval. Plenty of bands have used the word “grave,” but this one is far more powerful. Cemetery references are pretty stock now, but an upheavaldamn. This isn’t like defacing a single grave, it isn’t like committing sacrilege over a grave, this is an upheaval, like the whole cemetery was upended in some cataclysm. Perhaps an earthquake or volcano, and now there are bodies, pieces of coffins, and bones everywhere. It’s a total grave cataclysm. And that cover is great. You got like this ghost arm coming from the top in a position that must have made for a precarious photograph, a skull, and darkness swallowing it all with no clear context. And, oh yes, of course, the title of the album, as you see at the bottom up there, is some illegible dead language scribble that no one will ever translate and is probably meaningless. It’s going to sound like that, too. Just no way to hate this, right?


Largely, yes. if you like your black metal confrontational in the musical sense. Grave Upheaval are one of the Australia’s finest black metal fog beasts. They play a form of black metal that lacks continuous form. The guitars are more of a tornado, twisting and tearing all semblance of order to shreds. The drums provide some structure, but at times are doing their own thing, pounding in emptiness as the vocals echo off the cave walls, sometimes so mournfully it sounds like a dying child. This kind of sound is only for the most experienced listener, as you’d expect. It’s so degraded and anti-scene you know you’re the only one who’s going to be listening to it. Great. However, the issue now is that kind of sound is slowly becoming more scene. As such a sound becomes more the norm, bands like this will become another footnote if they can’t differentiate. Grave Upheaval are here at the perfect time, however, before their approach is more accepted. Few are yet ready to take band photos in near blackness in a cemetery where you can’t make out hair from an arm whilst drowning their instruments during recording to get that special sound. Unlike PORTAL, which is connected to this band, there is more substance within this dark mess, and this is what enables it to succeed more than you may expect. The album is nameless, the band members remain nameless, even the one who died around 2013. They’re more of an entity. Because the sound is so nonconforming, you can listen to the tracks totally out of order, on random, or the album itself multiple times, and you’ll never be quite sure if you’re hearing something new. That is at once an advantage and a defect. It’s far too interesting to ignore, but far too bizarre for the average listener to be more than a “check this out” moment in black metal time.


Grave Upheaval Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Grave Upheaval – Untitled
Nuclear War Now! Productions, Iron Bonehead Productions
4 / 5