Liquid Graveyard – By Nature So Perverse (Sleaszy Rider Records)Monday, 24th October 2016
Sometimes one of the biggest surprises as a writer is when a group just escapes your grasp for the longest time. Particularly when the word “supergroup” gets associated with it. Spanish death metallers Liquid Graveyard are now on their third album, and feature in their ranks John Walker of Cancer (and his wife Raquel), Shane Embury (Napalm Death) on bass, and Nick Barker on drums. Be it as it may, By Nature So Perverse is timeless, groovy death metal done right.
Liquid Graveyard does fall squarely into the death metal framework, though with some melodic and groovy touches, along with grind, doom, and black influences to round things out. Despite the influences, it’s hard to peg the act as being “this type” or “that type” of death metal, which works to their advantage as they don’t have to play by the rules. You can have a ripper like “All Bile All Vile” line up with a doomier number like “Onkalo” or a groove-intensive “Influence Corrupt” and not give it a second thought. Instead, it gives the album a more classic and timeless feel, without resorting to calling out names of the masters. They also understand that it takes more than blasts to accomplish their mission, and the wide variety of tempos and emphasis on good songwriting (plenty of killer riffs here) allows the band to stand out in a crowd of easily labeled death metal cut outs.
While one can always make the argument that it’s “just more death metal,” that’s not quite the case here. By Nature So Perverse is certainly death metal, but the attention to details and strong chops give it a huge plus in the memorability department. A supergroup that subtly outclasses their competition without going too overboard on the showmanship.