One of the more amusing grievances metal fans toss into the ring these days relates to our genre’s prevailing fondness for keeping most every branch cemented in the past.
Truth: It would be tragic beyond belief to live in a world where no one bothered to innovate and each new day delivered little more than yet another Dolly the Maiden, Dolly the Autopsy, Dolly the Napalm, Dolly the Etc. to infinity.
Falsehood: The problem lies in the fact that too many bands believe in “keepin’ it old-school.”
Point of fact: The trouble, friendly friendletons, is not so much rooted in metal’s regressive tendencies as it is based on the grim truth that, 1) There’s simply too much available to cram into our ears, 2) The modern age has leveled the playing field, thereby affording virtually every band the exact same methods and channels for advancement into said ears, and 3) 90% of what’s out there is 100% flushable.
The 50 pounds of shit in a 10 pound bag sitting at arm’s length for literally anyone interested abides as metal’s most glaring dilemma moving forward, and it’s the reason why it remains crucial to find sites, labels and comrades that know what’s up when it comes to sifting through the endless dreck and pinning obscured gems on the map. Hopefully, Last Rites provides that service to most of you, or some of you, or at least one of you, and we shall endeavor to remain on that path for thousands of years to come. Or at least until the lack of net neutrality shuts our dumbasses down. So it shall be written, so it shall be done.
With that in mind, please direct your attention to one of the Bay Area’s best kept secrets, DeathgraVe. And by “secret,” I mean these fuckers ain’t even got themselves a hot Metal-Archives dat cam profile. Whut thuh Ratt??
Verily, thanks to DeathgraVe’s method of pushing metal’s lines by blendering the bejesus out of grindcore, sludge and death with heaping doses of old-school punk, hardcore, powerviolence, d-beat and Vinnie Stigma’s kitchen sink, the likelihood that they’ll forever be denied entrance to the Hallowed Halls of M-A remains around 50% because the blessed Lords and Ladies behind Encyclopedia Metallum don’t take too kindly to metal’s kinfolk. At the end of the day, DeathgraVe’s brand of Hunkcore Powerstigma D-beat Grindslime is admittedly more punk than metal a majority of the time, but for every fistful of Siege, Neanderthal and Septic Death that springs to mind, there’s a pinch of Repulsion and modern Autopsy mangled with the grindier side of Ghoul that metals up the joint. In short, it’s a beautiful thing, this revolting cocktail of extremely raw and blistering horseplay that pays homage to the past as it grossly speeds forward.
Things you can do in 30 minutes: Listen to Reign in Blood with a one-minute pause dedicated to shot-gunning a Blatz before starting Side B, make chicken satay salad, tidy up your closet, read 2% of Anna Karenina, find your inner self, take the dog for his little walksie-poopsie, jog to your neighbor’s house and put a rotten egg in his/her mailbox, write an actual letter to your gam-gam, LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE DEATHGRAVE DISCOGRAPHY.
These fiends produce a style of music that’s tailor-made for the modern go-getter lifestyle, gang! Other bands want you to sit in some crummy chair for an hour-and-a-half and listen to them drone on and on about melancholy feelings or some horseshit hermetical gibberish. DeathgraVe just wants to beat you into a vegetative state with love songs like “Hugged in Half” and “Sex Teeth.” And they do it all in two minutes or less on each & every cut without ever losing sight of snagging the brain with a groovy hook.
Enough with the gum-flapping. Here’s your starting line-up…
Matt Thompson – drums
Andre Cornejo (Cyanic, ex-Brain Drill) – vocals
Fern Alberts (Amber Asylum) – bass
Greg “The Wizard” Wilkinson (Earhammer Studios overlord, Brain Oil, ex-Laudanum) – guitar
Voici des amuse-bouches, vous les silly douches:
• From the first demo entitled (ahem) DEMO 
“Pay the Man” — a snappy little song that could’ve easily snuggled alongside Neanderthal on the first Slap-A-Ham Bllleeeeaaauuurrrrgghhh! 7”. This is a journey into sound, baby!
• From the DeadPressure // DeathgraVe split 
“I’m Not A Bug” — I am not a bug, I am a free man! *gets squashed like a bug by an exceedingly impressive Wall of Death* *Iron Maiden laughter*
• From the Augurs // DeathgraVe split 
“Hugged In Half” — Just what I always wanted, my own little bunny rabbit. I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him. And I will pat him and pet him and rub him and caress him and skank with him.
• From the Winter Special 
“Bile-Ation” — Because people need a soundtrack for breaking into a friend’s house and force-feeding everyone unfortunate to be there frozen cubes of vomited bile. Why should gallbladders have all the fun?
• From the Endorphins Lost // DeathgraVe split 
“Carcass Stew” — In a small bowl, mix together flour, salt, and pepper; stir in garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, celery, and 2-5lbs of scrummy neighbor giblets. Cover and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours. Mosh to taste.
• From the Mexico Tour Tape 
“Seeping through the Shoebox” – Young lady, cow hearts belong in a butcher’s window, not the classroom. Maybe in an older student’s biology class, but that’s none of my business. Elementary school is where I wound up and it’s TOO LATE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THAT.
• From the Violation Wound // DeathgraVe split 
“Sewer Runs Through Her” — In the hands of a less skilled group of all-stars, this song would appear to paint whoever “she” happens to be in a poor light. But when you love everything the sewer births upon this toilet Earth as much as DeathgraVe does, the truth behind this ode’s tender and deeply romantic crux becomes eminently clear.
A grand total of 10 American doll hairs (or more, if you’re feeling extra philanthropic) is all you need to pour all 22 songs and 30 minutes of lumpy, bumpy DeathgraVey goodness into your ear canals and all the way down to your putrid, detestable heart. Will it spike your LDL cholesterol count? Probably. Will it rot your guts? Absolutely. Will something unexpected sprout from your midriff after prolonged exposure and eventually break free, grow to a towering height and destroy a major metropolitan area? Conceivably. But it’ll all be worth it.
P.S. Amazing album cover alert! Amazing album cover alert! Amazing album cover alert!