Label: Dark Descent Records
You can probably have a good guess at what The Unchaste, the Wicked, and the Profane by Gravehill sounds like just from the artwork. Black-thrash riffs and lightning-fast leads? Check. Pummeling drums that offer no respite? Check. Rough and raw vocals bellowed from ravaged throats? Check. It sounds just like an album with artwork featuring naked nuns, demons, and a conquering Baphomet should do. Ugly and violent, but also with undeniable appeal for those so inclined, The Unchaste… is a perfect example of how to combine death, black, and thrash metal into primal, demonic, and hugely enjoyable forms.
Enjoyable is a key word there, because as blasphemous and dark as it all is, at its heart The Unchaste… is an album that revels in the excesses of extreme metal, whether that be in terms of imagery or sound. Songs like ‘Bestial Genesis’ and ‘Iron & Sulphur’ perfectly demonstrate the no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners approach of Gravehill, striking the right balance between crushing power and that all-important sense of melody. It’s hard not to find yourself hanging along, and though it’s hardly the most original of releases, The Unchaste… is a demonstration of why originality can be over-rated, and simply writing solid songs and playing them with passion can be far more important. Horns up!