Portland, Oregon’s Graves at Sea is simply an exciting band. They are not re-inventing the wheel, but they have picked their niche and they are going to perform their task exquisitely in order to get their point across. The cult doom/sludge band has finally released their long-awaited debut full-length, The Curse That Is, and it is simply an ass-kicker of a release worthy of the great things being said about the band.
From the opening title track, “The Curse That Is” to the finally riff on this epic album, Graves at Sea proves that they are at the top of their game and deserve to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind when they think of modern day doom metal. The album is set up by a myriad of powerful doom style riffs that never seem to end and the vocals are on point to match the guitars perfectly.
Four of the eight tracks are epic with 11-plus minute run-times, but their length makes them no less impactful. Besides the title track, “Dead Eyes” also exceeds the 11 minute mark and is strong through its entire run. The haunting track “The Ashes Made Her Beautiful” is an artful depiction of sorrow for its entire run of over 15 minutes. At no point does this slow beast let the listener down.
At the end of the day, Graves at Sea is as strong as any band out there these days and The Curse That Is is a no-nonsense release of some jamming tracks. The band takes their time with the tracks allowing each to breathe for an extended play as the listener becomes consumed by the stage being set.
Graves at Sea Line-up
Nathan Misterek – vocals
Nick Phit – guitar
Bryan Sours – drums
Sketchy Jeff – bass