Sunday, 8 May 2016

Graveyard Dirt – My Scourge, My Dirt (2015) / 77%

In the Sleep of Death

Alongside Mourning Beloveth (who are kings), this band is the best the country of Ireland has to offer as far as doom/death is concerned. It’s a shame that they had so many issues during their career and only managed to release one full length and 3 Eps/demos, this is their latest record released last year and like all their stuff it’s pretty damn great. In fact, Ireland has produced so many good bands for such a small scene, Primordial remains one of the best act on the planet.
Obviously inspired by the Peaceville three from the other side of the Celtic Sea (or the Irish Sea), you can definitely hear the influence of early Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride here and their music has always been almost as good as “Turn Loose the Swans” or “Gothic”, their 2007 extended play “Shadows of Old Ghosts” is particularly stellar. This one, while not as interesting (perhaps due to the passage of time), is still immensely good and I hope they’re working on a new album. I do think their genre is somewhat exhausting though, For Grace or Damnation is a decent album but one hour of despair is sometimes hard to digest. I think their approach works better with a shorter format as it’s music highly related to a particular, exhausting mood. Some bands, never mind their quality, just don’t work as well for an extended period of time, Graveyard Dirt are possibly one of them. It’s probably why I think this EP is just the right dose! The album is divided in two sections, two shorter tracks start the album and it concludes with the longer number and it never gets too much or boring.

If you’re familiar with doom/death, you’ll be right at home here. Their formula is a bit like MDB at their heaviest (see “The Dreadful Hours”), it’s long songs full of romanticism, varied vocal approaches and an inviting dark mood, you really want to dress like a 1450 English nobleman who just visits the grave of his dead wife everyday while you’re listening to ‘em.

Paul Leyden simply freaking rocks at the mic, his clean vocals are more ballsy than Aaron Stainthorpe and his harsh vocals are even better than those of the old version of Thomas Gabriel Fischer. In fact the last track “The Sirens Refrain” sounds like a more natural rendition of Triptykon’s gothic extreme metal. While the musicianship has nothing to be ashamed of (it’s pretty solid), he’s the best thing about this band.

While it’s certainly nothing groundbreaking for 2015, it’s well done doom that will surely please any fans of ballsy sad guy metal. It’s still better than Pallbearer! Basically mix the Peaceville sound with modern Tom G. Warrior ughs and you got the sound of Graveyard Dirt.

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