Four years on from the release of their repeatedly acclaimed and imposingly impressive debut album Thoughts Of A Rising Sun, British metallers GraVil return with its successor No More Forgiveness. Not that the band has been away, becoming an increasingly potent force with a live presence alone which demands new attention each and every time. The years between though has seen the London based outfit breed real maturity in their songwriting and sound as well as an anger fuelled aggression which takes no prisoners as it ignites the senses. There was next to nothing about that first full-length which left you feeling that the band could have majorly improved upon yet it has been blown out of the water by the creative might and raw intensity of No More Forgiveness.
Written and recorded over a 15 period, No More Forgiveness saw the band take a whole new approach to its creation compared to its predecessor. The majority of writing was done online and by telephone, the band employing cloud and home studio technology whist attacking the lyrical side in one intensive week. Talking about the new album vocalist/lyricist Grant Stacey said, “There is a massive sub-context of loss within the new album, with 2016 notably being a brutal year; however No More Forgiveness pulls in a lot of strength from negativity that all too often engulfs our society and ways of life. It’s time to make a stand and do what’s right… and this is us, doing things right.” It is a power and emotional turbulence which is immense within the release, the fuel to its uncompromising ire and intensity within a voraciously charged and crafted encounter leaving the listener exhausted and invigorated.
Produced by Dan Alba (Voices, Sarah Jezebel Deva), No More Forgiveness opens up with Detonate; a track instantly devouring ears with rapacious riffs and fierce rhythms. A quick breath taken after the first surge is followed by a senses enveloping tide of sonic trespass led by guitarists Tony Dando and Charlie Webster. Stacey is soon snarling in the midst of it all, drummer Perrin leaving mighty indents with his swings as the bass of Sparx matches the irritable tone of the vocals. Bound in imagination stoking grooves and an unpredictable array of hooks and twists, the track is a mightily stirring opening to the album setting down the benchmark No More Forgiveness rarely misses thereon in.
Following the introspective examination of the first, Are We Alive scours the feelings of losing control; defiance soaking its roar as a web of enterprise is spun by the guitars. Jagged grooves and spiky beats collude with the brooding tone of the bass, Dando’s melodic flames scorching their invasive union with suggestive intensity before the outstanding I Am The Blood spills its venomous contagion. As in all tracks, despite the open hostility there is an instinctively infectious air and endeavour which has the body rocking as hard as thoughts are evoked and provoked by its imposing words and emotions. Group vocals only add to its rousing presence and energy, the track a beast of an uprising in heart and inspiration.
Plagues, Thieves And Murderers is a predator of a song, slipping in on a sonic mist before prowling with discontent through ears with the antagonism of the bass and biting intent of the drums to the fore. Even when settled, the song stalks the senses with Stacey masterfully scowling as riffs add toxic animosity to the increasingly compelling trespass of the senses and emotions. It is hard to pick a favourite proposal amongst all ten but the disappointment loaded contemplation of the music scene comes swiftly to mind each time the question arises as too its successor Locate The Traitor. Like a warrior, the song stands bold and tall, bellowing in voice and energy as grooves swarm and flirt with the imagination while rhythms harry the senses. It too has the body rocking with zealous endeavour, the track prime GraVil in a whole new ball game in design and release.
Next up Choke In Silence is an unforgiving tide of aural intensity and emotive gall sharing adventure with a wealth of multi-flavoured textures and alluring melodic spices, the song as sultry and beguiling as it is barbarous, while Fractured, Divided is bewitchment full-stop. Featuring the striking vocal beauty and elegance of Metaprism’s Theresa Smith, the song blends Celtic/folkish spices with metal bad blood. It is drenched in raw emotion stemming from Stacey’s opening up the feelings he felt at the loss of his baby a few years back, the track sparking a thickly evocative and physical connection with thoughts and emotions even without initially knowing its background. On top, that union of contrasting vocals is simply irresistible as the track provides another peak in the lofty heights of the album.
New single Decommissioned steps forward next, the track initially hiding its musical vendetta behind melody nurtured smog before unleashing its rancorous tone and intensity like a fusion of Slipknot and Raging Speedhorn. Bred from the vitriol found in betrayal, there is no escaping the bitterness or galvanic potency of the track; its arousal of thoughts and attitude all have faced an unbridled stoking of pleasure which Forever Is A Prison keeps burning with its nagging riffs and biting beats alongside friction spilling vocals and melodic toxicity. Though at times the track does not quite match the heights of other songs within No More Forgiveness, it is the height of their prowess rather than its lacking which decides as again Dando exhilarates with his adventure and the band as a whole leaves a memorable invasion and heavy pleasure in its wake.
The release is closed up by One Eyed King which in only its first bundle of creative seconds has ears and appetite enthralled and even more intensively gripped as grooves sear and hooks pierce within a fiercely enjoyable barbarity of rhythmic vindictiveness and vocal conflict. It is an immense and thrilling not forgetting formidable end to an album which thrusts GraVil to the fore of the current metal scene. It was easy to think that after that mighty first album, GraVil had found a peak hard to massively improve upon; how wrong that thought was with No More Forgiveness leaving it and most other current releases engulfed in its wake.
No More Forgiveness is out now across most online stores.
Pete RingMaster 10/05/2017
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright