Metal Blade Records
Release date: November 13, 2015
For fans of classic goth or deathrock sounds, Grave Pleasures may be the best band you’ve never heard. In a way, you probably have heard them. Rising from the ashes of Beastmilk, a band that delivered perfect metal tinged punk rock songs with all the fervor of the end of humanity, Grave Pleasures takes up the torch that fell from the dying hand of their previous incarnation. Featuring original Beastmilk vocalist Mat "Kvohst" McNerney and bassist Valtteri Arino, guitarist and songwriter Linnéa Olsson (formerly of Beastmilk and The Oath), guitarist Juho Vanhanen (ex Oranssi Pazuzu) and former In Solitude drummer Uno Bruniusson, the band boasts an impressive lineup of seasoned vets. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that Grave Pleasures’ debut Dreamcrash is a wild ride.
Grave Pleasures crashes into action with “Utopian Scream,” a song that hearkens back to the early days of deathrock, bringing the classic Christian Death formula perfected by Rozz Williams and Company with a bit of modern flair. This is goth the way it was in days of yore when part of the threat was that it was just pop-tinged enough to threaten to devour your children with its dark bliss. McNerney’s voice sounds a bit like Glenn Danzig channeling the spirit of the aforementioned Williams. “New Hip Moon” steps things up a notch with the drive of punk rock in a dark pop/metal framework. This track is intoxicating and brings the listener into the madness. Each song is distinct, as no two share more than a similar skeleton with a unique beast built on the common bones. “Crisis” opens with a doom inspired tone before turning into mid-tempo horror punk goodness. “Taste The Void” drives forward with a Misfits meets 45 Grave rock approach, a nod to the heavier sound espoused by Beastmilk.
If you’re expecting a Beastmilk clone from Grave Pleasures, look elsewhere. The band seems completely uninterested in treading old ground as they move forward in their new incarnation. Grave Pleasures stands on its own merits and brings classic goth and deathrock shadows into the cloud covered sky of today. Catchy, dark, poppy songs like “Lipstick On Your Tombstone” meld 1982 and today into a single being, bridging the gap between the roots of a genre and the best of modern horror punk. Creepy guitar lines and tense drumming give these songs a threatening atmosphere builds into incredible choruses.
Grave Pleasures has made a debut that sends chills down the spine and leaves me longing for dark places to write dark poetry. Dreamcrash is a brilliant first outing for a band determined to be an iconoclast, and to set the new standard of horror rock.
Reviewed by Jim 1340