Grave Forsaken – “Reap What You Sow”


graveforsakenreapGrave Forsaken hits the ground like a riot on their fifth full album release, “Reap What You Sow”. This is a great album that had me hooked from the first track. The music is loud, fast and tight; fuelled with great riffs and a tornado of great drumming. In some places comparisons such as Nuclear Assault, Tourniquet and D.R.I. came to mind.

This energy soaked thrash machine out of Australia was formed in 2004, and the current line-up stands as follows, Vaughan Gregory – vocals / guitars, Elias Salmela – guitar, Matt Skipworth – bass, and Luke Gallagher on drums.

I have listened to a couple of thrash albums over the last couple months and this album is one of those gems that comes along once in awhile that installs hope that a specific genre still has something to give. It’s not over-produced or complicated; it just gets down to business.

“Reap what you sow” starts off with a haunting violin that enters into relentless storm of racing guitars and fast paced and well executed drumming that does not for a moment fall short of its energetic delivery right down to the last second. “End of Days” continues the momentum with jugging guitars, and driving drum beats. One of my favourite tracks, “Kill your idols” comes in with some fantastic lead guitar solo work before settling in to the bands usual thrash groove experience. Images of a vibrant, and engaging mosh pit comes to mind on almost every song. The album just delivers song after song, “Silent Screams” has an awesome intro bass line complimented by some double bass drumming, before hitting another home run with its signature thrash discourse. Songs like, “Victory or death”, “Ghost Light”, “Situation Mess” are classic thrash examples that echo the 80’s thrash era. “Master of the World” is another favourite, with its melodic thrash melodies, great gang vocal harmonies, and driving drums. The album ends as it started, with the same haunting violin melody.

Vaughan Gregory had this to share with me about the album, “ The inspiration behind the album was to express our Christian worldview through thought provoking lyrics. We tried to avoid being “cheesy”, but rather tried to explore real feelings and situations. “One of our main lyrical inspirations is Tourniquet. Not so much the language, but the themes. Tourniquet always had this way of bringing everything back to the Christian message. So even if a song is about a darker topic, you’ll notice they all conclude with the message of hope through Christ. That really is the message of the band, that Christ is the answer to all of our situations.” The lyrics through-out are a true reflection of those words, and I feel that message comes through clear and strong. There is no doubt of their faith, their conviction of the Gospel message and the hope that is found in Jesus Christ. “Those men of faith who came before us / They did not hide or run from the fight / They stood as one, yeah they stood their ground / Now we follow down the path they cleared for us” – from the track “Victory or Death”.

Overall the vocals compliment the music impressively, and the aggressive short clear pronouncements providing ample opportunity to sing-a-long. Same can be said for the gang vocals which are a key ingredient to the strength of the album, and provide an experience that evokes participation.

What they give you here is an album filled to overflow with catchy melodies, and raise your glass high anthems. Its classic thrash mixed up with a little bit of groove metal, and the overall execution and combination is brilliant.

For if you like: Tourniquet, Nuclear Assault, Slayer, Mortification, Betrayal.

Written by Donovan de Necker

Rating: 9.5/10

1. Reap What You Sow
2. End of Days
3. Kill Your Idols
4. Silent Screams
5. Victory or Death
6. Ghost Light
7. Coming Home
8. Situation Mess
9. Master of the World

Record Label: Soundmass, Sept. 2012

Current band line up:
Vaughan Gregory – vocals / guitars
Elias Samela – guitars
Matt Skipworth – bass
Luke Gallagher – drums

Grave Forsaken (EP) (June 2005)
Label: North Wind Productions
Beside The River Of Blood (September 2006)
Label: Rowe Productions
Horror And Sadness (EP) (September 2007)
Label: Rowe Productions
Destined For Ascension (March 2008)
Label: Rowe Productions
This Day Forth (May 2009)
Label: Soundmass
Light The Hall! Website (September 2009)
Label: Iron Guardian Industries
Fight To The Death (May 2010)
Label: Soundmass
Light The Hall II (Live) (December 2011)
Label: North Wind Production
Reap What You Sow (September 2012)
Label: Soundmass

Weblinks: Facebook / Myspace / Website

Buy the album here:
Holland & Worldwide: First Paradox Metalrecords

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