Asphalt Graves – The New Primitive (Vitriol Records)Wednesday, 20th July 2016
Another supergroup enters the fray, this time in the form of Asphalt Graves, who feature some rather noteworthy gents in their ranks. Comprised of bassist/vocalist Jason Netherton (Misery Index/ex-Dying Fetus), drummer Shannon Lucas (ex-All That Remains, The Black Dahlia Murder), guitarist Brent Purgason (GWAR), and guitarist Adam Faris (ex-War Torn). Not surprisingly, the quartet whips out a fierce death/grind amalgamation on The New Primitive.
Sticking to the long-time grind policy of a gaggle of short songs, Asphalt Graves make quick of their 13 songs here, of which include two covers (more on them in a moment). Netherton, long one of death metal’s most inspired vocalists, is up to his usual throat-shredding misdeeds, especially on “Who Do You Serve,” “Angst and Praise,” and “Let it Burn,” the latter an angular slice through the meat of classic grind. The tandem of Purgason and Faris are in lock-step, blending harsh chord mutations and raucous tremolo stabs. Extra kudos for the cover of Nasum’s “Time to Act,” a band who continues to receive its just due from the metal community. (“Mass Graves” by Disrupt serves as the other cover tune.)
Yeah, there’s a bit of a novelty aspect of Asphalt Graves considering the busy schedules of the parties involved. But, if you’re going to round up four metal underground notables and have them shred through more than a dozen grinders, it’s a bit hard to think of a better coupling. The New Primitive shows Asphalt Graves is a worthy, spare-time pursuit.