DeathgraVe – So Real, It’s Now Review

If you’ve spent ample time with a discerning ear placed to the underground of the extreme music world located on the western seaboard of these United States, perhaps you’ve come across DeathgraVe. Then again, maybe not—five years of life and just a handful of splits and some demo material hasn’t even awarded the band a spot in the hallowed halls of Metal Archives yet. But people in the know like to push their wares, because DeathgraVe has panache and a distinct…je ne sewer quoi. Why, just this past December, yours truly featured their brand of gruesome deathgrind in a snuggly Last Rites’ Primer, the results of which conceivably made all four members millionaires several times over.

Highlighting DeathgraVe inevitably seems to lead to one unique mystery, however: What’s with the “V,” man…

Yes, it’s clearly ludicrous to even bring up—that “V” is sometimes just as lower-case as the pals to the left and right when social media notices and flyers announce upcoming shows. Plus, the band’s official logo clearly depicts all letters involved as upper-case. Nonetheless, that big “V” has been jumping up with both arms stretched and screaming “LOOK AT ME, I’m a big V!!” on their bandcamp page since day one. Could be as simple as a haphazard cat’s paw landing on the ‘shift’ key the very moment a member decided to make the band public. Or, according to our very own Andrew Edmunds, it could be an indicator reminding the listener that the correct pronunciation is actually death gravy. The music is certainly lumpy enough, and it defies good health and goes well with just about everything.

The answer, however, is quite simple: The members of DeathgraVe are obviously lizard people who’ve come to Earth to harvest human beings as food and steal our water.

Hey, maybe you weren’t alive or can’t remember what happened to this stupid planet back in the 80s. If that’s the case, lucky you—just know that it was rough going for a while. A documentary was made about it back in the day, and as is often the case, a modern reenactment was eventually botched by a major network a number of years later. To summarize: they came, we were ensorcelled by their boomin’ sunglasses, then humans eventually got paired with a refreshing rosé.

Pictured right: Greg Wilkinson?

Some of those scaly Visitors turned out to be okay, though, because they weren’t all down with the leaders’ intentions to just bend humans over the railing 24/7. We should probably assume this is the case with DeathgraVe, too, because every member has been a part of the extreme music world for years. Hell, guitarist Greg “The (Lizard?) Wizard” Wilkinson alone is responsible for an endless amount of heavy metal joy as the head honcho at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA—a joint responsible for cranking out hit records from the likes of Necrot, Noothgrush, Undergang, Asunder, Ghoul, Vhol and Exhumed, just to name a few. At this point, we probably would have noticed if members from bands we love were going in to record and never seeing the light of day again.

Anyway, the short of it is this: DeathgraVe is likely comprised of insatiable lizard people that sometimes look at humans like they’re walking hot dogs, and their music resembles that (as of yet unconfirmed) truth. Inhuman, cold-blooded and unpredictable, basically. As the primer from last December described, it’s music that “blenders the bejesus out of grindcore, death, old-school punk, hardcore, sludge, powerviolence and Vinnie Stigma’s kitchen sink,” which remains the case for this, the band’s first official full-length.

A handful of songs have appeared before—“Carcass Stew” and “Face Forager” from the split with Endorphins Lost, “Seeping Through the Shoebox” and “Live Fast, Die Slow” from the Mexico Tour Tape, and the one-off “Bile-ation.” But these songs fit snug as a bloodthirsty bug in a discarded gutter rug alongside the remaining nine new cuts, because the DeathgraVe ambition to smite and smite quickly remains unchanged.

Release date: June 22, 2018. Label: Tankcrimes.
“Casket Bath” opens the show and truly and completely and immediately shoves the listener’s head into a garbage disposal. Flailing drums and grinding riffs soar into your midriff amidst toileted vocals from the very first second, and then an odious slow stretch with a woozy sense of melody carries the midpoint before the last 10 seconds ends up mowing whatever’s left of you onto the ceiling. This sort of sharp-toothed reptilian violence that never forgets to occasionally slow the attack and enjoy a little bone-cracking marrow-inhaling is the essence of So Real, It’s Now, and the fact that everything is taken care of in under 30 minutes is ideal, because punchy, power-violent deathgrind isn’t really meant to land on a 2xLP.

Listen to “This is What You Get Pt. 1” and revel in the tornadic barrage of Impetigo meets S.O.B. that’s lifted to new heights on the wings of a 15-second hellacious howl that sounds like a lizard man from Krynn after having a dungeon trapdoor fall on his foot. You may guess this sort of thing is produced by familiar humans, but that’s 100% grade-A reptilian grind, my friend.

The rest of the fare is equally as brawny and unyielding, with some shorties relying more on septic Autopsy-isms and others on Repulsion and extended old-school punk-grinding fury. The end result is always the same, though: to crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of the humans once they realize the venue doors are locked and the band is about to harvest heads for their daily bread.

Look, we’re not really the sort of website that makes a habit of reporting rumors as truth for the benefit of clicks. The notion that this band is attempting to drop some sort of cautionary clue in their name is absurd, and I apologize for even implying such lunacy. So Real, It’s Now is a wonderfully relentless slab of punky death grind that is as fun as it is furious, and it’s clearly made by grade-A human beings—magnificent human beings who are definitely not on this planet for treacherous purposes. They are our friends, and we should welcome them and their music into our lives…

Posted by Captain

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; Handsome & Interesting Man; Just get evil all the time.

  1. that song is grisly, def buying this LP


    1. Andrew Edmunds June 20, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      You mean it’s “DeathgrisLy.”


      1. Well played


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