GRAVITY – Eutheria

M&O Music

Within its niche, this is not a bad album. Gravity, a French outfit putting out their second album, strive to blend death metal with melodic rock and atmospheric passages.

The band are not short of ambition and are unafraid of pulling out the stops. At various points the mid-paced metalcore drive is interspersed with tolling bells, Spanish guitar, string arrangements and howling winds. The album’s shot at epic-ness, ‘Arkham’ opens with an extended synth and drum loop workout. It’s all here.

Sometimes, indeed often, this metallic soup works surprisingly well. One of the best tricks Gravity deploy is counterpointing the heavily distorted death rasp with a sweet, sometimes operatic vocal over the top. ‘Emphase’ is a compelling blend of power and melody. ‘L’ecore’  takes the mood a stage further with an instrumental section that could easily be an outtake from the last Scooby Doo soundtrack. Just imagine a hapless, spooked Shaggy jumping at his own shadow and you are there. The track builds through haunting vocal overlays and cranking guitar salvos to well worked climax. ‘Aeternam’ ploughs a similar not uninteresting furrow.

Theses are the highlights though, and the album suffers from inconsistency. In truth, the band probably don’t have enough good songs yet. And there’s some tracks that just don’t work. ‘Inlandsis’ suffers a heavy-handed, one dimensional gutteral vocal delivery that is too mushy to be brutal and swamps the pumping rhythm.

Whilst it’s a mixed bag, there’s plenty of interest here. It won’t be to everyone’s taste but some of the material on Eutheria is really rather good.

***

Dave Atkinson


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