Album Review – EARTHEN GRAVE – Earthen Grave



Ripple Records ( Release date – out now)

Formed back in 2008 and led by former Trouble bassist Ron Holzner, Earthen Grave have honed their sound over the last 5 years. This is the band’s first album and is a doom-laden masterpiece. The six piece produce huge riffs and massive grooves which owe a lot to early Sabbath and Saint Vitus but what sets Earthen Grave apart is the addition of virtuoso violinist Rachel Barton Pine. Her electric violin work really adds another dimension to the heavy, doom metal fare which is refreshing to hear.

The album opens with ‘Earthen Grave’ which kicks off with an atmospheric bell tolling in the distance which then builds to a solid, slow, pounding riff and then rounds off with some fast paced rocking with violin accents, an impressive start. Over the course of the twelve tracks there are many highlights, whether it is the shorter, more immediate tracks such as ‘Burning A Sinner’ or one of the slow burning epics like ‘Dismal Times’, all are suitably black and oh so heavy.

The song writing and construction is top notch and none more so than on the album’s tour de force, ‘Death On The High Seas’, which is a song of epic proportions. Here the band really excel with a romping mid-section which would be stunning live, Rachel’s fiddle work on this one is stunning.

Another stand out for me is the addition of a live version of Rainbow’s ‘Stargazer’ with Rachel again stepping to the fore to play the main solo on which she is note perfect, I’m sure Mr Blackmore would be impressed.

As a debut album, this is a stonker. The band can be rightly proud of this release, with the addition of the violin work they have managed to create a doom metal album which stands out within the genre, no easy task. Preparing an earthen grave for this lot is most definitely a premature move as they have plenty of life still to live and hopefully much still to give.


David Wilson

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