Let’s grind it out with Mass Grave’s Our Due Descent.
I really wanted to make good on that threat I posted last week to find something under six-minutes but, alas, it didn’t happen. So, if you’re disappointed, cheers. Welcome to life. And it’s Monday; in case that little factoid slipped by you somehow.
If you’ve been following this column for any length of time, you might remember my featuring of a little grindy/crust band named Mass Grave back in February 2017. If you need a refresher, the Vancouver, BC (that’s in Canada, state-dwelling Americans) unit has been grinding out the jams for a long time now. Having released records with Suffering Mind, P.L.F., In Disgust, among others, they play no frills PhD-level grind. Punk as hell, raw as hell, and fast as hell.
Our Due Descent is a thirteen-song ripper done in sixteen short minutes (so, you know, double the time of last week’s feature). Kicking in with “Escape This Hell”, the band got the right title for dealing with a case of the Mondays. Cue that feedback, a little bit of heavy, some punk speed pick-up, and before you know it, the song simply takes off. It’s a good way to slowly wake up, especially if that coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. But once it does, you’ll hear some changes from The Absurdity of Humanity to this record.
Perhaps one of the first things you’ll notice on this album is production value. It still sounds punk, but this record hits a lot harder and sounds more cleaned up. The distortion is a little less harsh and the band has moved into a stronger pure grindcore sound for this release, as opposed to their usual crustcore/grind fare. But it isn’t for the worse, not by a long shot. Our Due Descent doesn’t play different from previous releases, and still maintains a crust feel. However, when tracks like “Take Me Away” or the title track play, it’s clear that the grind dominates here. Blasts are constant (as is par for the course) and the punk sections really bring out the hardcore/punk the band is rooted in.
Where this album truly dominates is in its flow. The tracks are quick, with only one blowing past two-minutes, and most ending well before that. But track to track, Mass Grave know how to keep the flow of an album going. It’s not atonal. When it blasts, it hits hard, when it goes for a circle pit vibe, it nails it. And it manages to incorporate these pieces at just the right times, without having to worry about saturation of any one element. It shows that the band has been doing this for a long time and know how to craft a damn fine grind track.
Our Due Descent is long overdue for a feature on here, but hey, better late than never. Mass Grave have yet to disappoint. If you follow this band, you probably already knew about this. But if you’re new to the band, now’s as good a time as any to get grinding with some Mass Grave.