Patrick : 'Degrave' is the self-released, second album of the American thrash metal band Degrave. In their biography the band likes to make a musical comparison with acts such as Megadeth, Metallica and Vektor. Pooh, those are big shoes to fill ... have they succeeded?
The music on 'Degrave' contains all traditional thrash metal elements such as aggression, a high tempo and fierce, screaming guitars ('Grander Grandeur'). The band sounds somewhat reminiscent of Vektor, even though it is mainly because singer Dylan Volmert spits out his lyrics in a way similar as David DiSanto (Vektor, duh!) does. A musical comparison does not apply for the addition of various other elements (jazz, black and death metal) is completely lacking and the elaboration of the tracks is simply leaner and simpler than the complicated and more sophisticated sound than the 'band' from Arizona. In fact, a word like 'average' is unfortunately lying in wait. The band tries to wriggle themselves from that level with tempo changes and in tracks like 'Tortured' or the instrumental, acoustic 'Inside Looking Out', a moment of rest halfway through the album, the quartet rises above that level. But in tracks such as 'Shades Of Black' or towards the end of 'Grander Grandeur' the tempo is considerably reduced and the music loses its heaviness and attraction. The fierce Slayer-like guitar swipes like that in 'New World Disorder' and 'Tortured' cannot change that.
'Degrave' is certainly not a bad thrash metal album, but also one that does not have enough interesting compositions to stand out. Only for the absolute thrash metal omnivores.