Graven Maul – Crushed Skull Moon Tag-Team Review

The following is a joint effort of two of our most prized idiots. No, not those two idiots. Well, one of those idiots, and another idiot. Anyway, this was written by Ryan and Manny.

Thank the sweet, dank, dope dark Lord for Last Rites, because albums like this one from Graven Maul deserve attention, even if they are pretty darn short, and even if they aren’t getting it out there in the mainstream. Thus, we have to sit back and take a moment to praise Him for giving us the website that is Last Rites and the ability, desire and freedom to pretty much do whatever the fuck we want in the hallowed halls.

Let’s face it, albums that make you want to ram your head through the nearest concrete wall are why death metal fans get out of bed in the morning. Otherwise, a bunch of youngsters with long, luscious locks would waste away in bed, hi-tops poking out of the bottom of their He-Man comforter, parents angrily banging on the door, battle vests strewn across the carpet. Originally released in January of 2018, Graven Maul’s Crushed Skull Moon is a record that does just that. Finally seeing a label release on July 13, Crushed Skull Moon is a ripping 14 minutes that you can listen to on repeat.

With the album now seeing the light of day via the newly re-popular cassette format (and still Name Your Price over at Bandcamp for the digital version) we figured two of the crustiest, grossest death metal heathens should give you a quick rundown of why they enjoy this little EP. [Manny-O-War]


Manny-O-War: Riffs: MOTHERFUCKING CHECK. So many riffs that I had to start a fucking new bureau drawer in which to house them. Add to that vocals that would make a crusty grind outfit shoot month-old genital juice into their fannypack, plus enough guitar squeals to give the feel of a live show and you’ve got one serious fucking album. But it’s not just the ripping, fast-paced death metal that makes this album kill, it’s the breakdowns. Pit-riffic, chug-a-lug breakdowns like on “Phalanx Breaker” are so uncontrollably heavy, it’s recommended that you pull over while driving lest you slam your car into the nearest pole on purpose. Did I even mention the absolutely skull crushing riff that makes up the body of “Warcry of the Feral Crown?” Crush your fucking skull. On repeat.

Ryan: Manny says Graven Maul is bringing the riffs, so of course I want to check it out. And he isn’t kidding. The Fresno, California death metal outfit is certainly delivering the riffs, and what’s more: their debut EP is drowning in filthy production that packs a wallop straight to the guts. Not only is Crushed Skull Moon beating you into submission, but it’s rubbing your face in the dirt at the same time. It’s not an inaccessible listen at all though; all of the instrumentation cuts through like the blade of a shovel slicing into the dew-soaked moist earth for a fresh grave. While there isn’t much actual groundbreaking going on here at all, Graven Maul start their discography strong with a solid EP that doesn’t relent and delivers a filler-free romp through 14 minutes of head banging, brutal, classic-style death metal that lives up to its name by delivering the sonic equivalent of having your brain smashed in by a decrepit tombstone.

[Editor’s note: We will not apologize for our staff’s unbridled, dorkasaurus enthusiasm, nor should we. Get wrecked.]

Posted by Last Rites


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