Label: Self-released / Bluntface Records
Your Fault doesn’t start in the strongest of ways. The opening track to the new album from Gravehuffer contains plenty of powerful riffs, ugly vocals, and furious drumming; but it never quite comes together, with its combination of crust, death metal, and raw punk energy missing the mark. Thankfully, this is an anomaly on an album that is otherwise full of vicious crusty metalpunk, switching between genres at ease, and with songwriting deft that is surprising for music that is so ugly and hard hitting. The first track aside, this is an invigorating listen, and a fine half hour of underground snarl and spit.
One of the best points about Your Fault is that it, and Gravehuffer, possess a sense of humour. It might be slightly twisted, but songs like ‘Of Fish and Men’ and ‘Shut Up and Skate’ are thoroughly enjoyable not only because of their high-speed riffs, but also because it sounds like Gravehuffer themselves are having fun playing them. Every power chord riff, every drum fill, and every snarled vocal feels like it’s being done with the utmost enjoyment, no matter how dirty the production is – and believe me, it’s very dirty. This is an album that sounds like it was torn from the 80’s in more ways than one. This ends up being to the benefit of Your Fault; a clean production would take far too much edge off these songs, and by making it sound like it was recorded at the same time as so many of the bands Gravehuffer are clearly taking inspiration from, it helps the album tap in to that same sense of energy as D.R.I, Motorhead, Amebix, and early American hardcore had – all wrapped up with a dirtiness that’s not far removed from the originators of Swedish death metal.
That’s not to say that Your Fault sounds dated. Instead, it recalls the glory days of a scene gone by, bringing to mind how great it was when fitting into subgenres was less of a concern than just writing good songs. Gravehuffer are taking inspiration from where they will, so long as the end result is killer tunes – of which there are plenty here. The energy put across is infectious, combining that previously mentioned sense of fun with righteous rage. It may get off to a shaky start, but Your Fault soon finds it feet, and though it could never be described as pretty or especially easy to listen to, there’s something addictive and very impressive about the album. Crude, raw, and full of power, this is how metalpunk should be.