Album Review

‘Gravehammer’ Not a Smash Hit

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By Tim Newman
TFW Contributing Writer

Courtesy Photo: Catch the Vore CD Release show at Rogue Pizza Cafe this Friday Dec. 16.

The fourth, independently-released and self-financed album from metal trio Vore, “Gravehammer,” certainly takes a minute to grow on the non-avid listener of metal music. Rest assured, this is more than just unintelligible growling over heavy distortion and seemingly never-ending double bass. The precision of musicianship is something at which to awe, but this album is definitely not for the typical music connoisseur.


The overall mixing, mastering and clear recording is what sets this band apart from all the other garage metal bands — you know, the ones you would make a noise complaint on if they were to practice on your street. Unlike most of today’s metal, “Gravehammer” is sludgy in sound and tempo and often very straightforward, leaving behind any attempts to branch into other musical genres. This album flaunts itself as a straight-up metal album, and it succeeds.

The deep, guttural vocals of singer/guitarist Page Townsley, are reminiscent of any Cannibal Corpse album; take your pick. The rhythm guitar tracks, in spite of being accented with many frills and well-executed lead-in riffs, become a monotonous cycle of excessive palm-muting and furious tremolo picking as the record progresses.

Although the overall technique is impressive, the guitar solos seem formulaic — almost as if the obligatory “metal solo” is as far as it goes. For as good as Townsley is at shredding, there should be a lot more going on. “Gravehammer” would feel more complete with a lot more layering.

I think Jeremy Partin is talented enough to be following along with the rhythm guitar’s tremolo picking and filler licks, but with the deepness of the guitar and the brutality of the drums, the bass tracks are largely hidden, except for a few standout moments in “The Claw Is The Law” and the opening of “Doomwhore.”

Drummer Remy Cameron adds to the impressiveness of this three piece band by delivering a solid, precise performance while blast-beating through rhythm heavy tracks.
For any metal aficionado, “Gravehammer” is nothing new or progressive. Even though the album is well-done in numerous aspects, it’s all been done before. So, before buying this, go have a few drinks and join in with the headbangin’ at the album release show at The Rogue on Friday. Doors open at 9 p.m.


Willy G December 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I think this review shows a clear lack of any knowledge whatsoever with regard to metal. I suspect that you don’t listen to metal that much, and judging by reading a few of your previous glowing reviews (Tom Waits, Old 78’s) you are firmly rooted in the hipster realm. Expand your horizons and learn something before you slam a local band with more talent and respect than you are likely to ever gain. I have attached a link to a review by a professional. You may want to study it.

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Erika December 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Why is someone who does not listen to or know anything about metal reviewing a metal album? Do you know anything about reviewing music? The Free Weekly is an absolute joke. Tim Newman, you’re an amateur and you should be embarassed. The Free Weekly, I seriously hope you’ll consider learning some proffessionalism. It’s a shame you’re representing our town.

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LaAmberDiabla December 19, 2011 at 9:52 pm

I’ve been a VORE fan since its birth, & haven’t taken Gravehammer out of my cd player since I purchased it at the show. Why? Because it’s freakin awesome & incredibly put together from every riff to hammering double bass. Mr. Tim, you should be thrown in a mosh pit full of Vore fans. I bet you’d have a new appreciation for real metal. This review SUCKS!! VORE RULES!!!!

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Wheat December 20, 2011 at 11:37 am

I’ve been enjoying this album a great deal and it’s quite a good album–far better than your review would indicate. It’s also a natural progression for Vore, if you’d bothered to listen to any of their previous work. It also fits in nicely with the doom/death metal genre. What Vore do, they do very well. Your lack of familiarity with the band and with the genres which inform their work is obvious.

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