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Graves of Valor Famine

Graves of Valor - Famine
1. After the Awakening
2. Kiss the Snake
3. Famine
4. The Burning
5. Hunger Artist
6. Architect
2007 Tragic Hero Records

Reviewed by: Rob Parker   //   Published: 12/16/2007

Death metal isn't a genre I usually expect memorable songwriting from. It's mostly a personal issue more than anything else, but most death metal I've come across was so excited about sounding "evil as fuck" that the songs were little more than wank-ridden burp-fests.

Famine, the debut EP from South Carolina's From Graves of Valor took me utterly by surprise. The band makes heavy use of the standard death metal trappings to get their point across: cookie-monster death grunts, wall-to-wall double bass, intricate guitar work, apocalyptic lyrics and higher register screaming. Normally this kind of stuff would have me yawning. However, it's in the execution that the band really shines. From Graves of Valor features Through the Eyes of the Dead alumni Richard Turbeville, (guitar) Dayton Cantley (Drums) and Jeff Springs (guitar) and it shows that these guys have worked together in the past. Famine manages to sound uncompromising without coming across as too one-dimensional - something that could only be pulled off by a group of veterans aware of the genre's shortcomings.

This isn't to say this is a perfect release. The production is balanced enough that nothing is really lost in the mix, but the double-bass sounds like someone sitting in the back of the studio playing with one of those Klacker toys. It's that much of a problem, as the rest of the drumming is spot on and capably shoulders the rhythmic contortions, but a more substantial bottom end would do this EP a world of justice.

I laughed when the band claimed on their Myspace that they were "death metal incarnate," but if they can deliver this kind of high-quality work on a full-length, they just might be worthy of such a title.

Bottom Line: Any death metal band that references Franz Kafka in a song title immediately wins some serious geek points with me. So while From Graves of Valor don't reinvent death metal, they certainly give it a needed facelift with more fluid songwriting that doesn't skimp on the aggression. The EP is technical, absolutely brutal and above all: actually memorable after I stop listening to it. I'm really curious to see if they can pull this off on a full-length.

TOMMY_   posted 1/11/2008 9:18:25 PM
i could care less if this band is death metal or not. they are f*cking sick and remind me of the first through the eyes EP. which was the only thing good that that band put out. i really hope this band doesnt put out a shit cd after this one and lose all there members but like 1.
UseAFuckingMic_   posted 1/9/2008 11:42:24 PM
I blame As I Lay Dying for bringing triggered drum sounds to a forefront.
It seriously is the most annoying thing ever in music.
Tune your f*cking drums, put a microphone in or near them, and stop being a gay.
fuckthisfaggotband_   posted 12/22/2007 7:52:37 PM
f*ck this gay band
bzm_   posted 12/22/2007 7:39:40 PM
awful band.
terrible music_   posted 12/21/2007 10:19:47 PM
when did lambgoat reviewers begin taking shitty deathcore seriously? As for the horde of mindless gays eating this shit up with a fork, get a f*cking clue.

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