GRAVEHILL - When All Roads Lead To Hell CD
Dark Descent Records
Genre: Death Metal/Thrash
Back in 2009 I thought this California band had a decent debut release with Rites of the Pentagram. So after about half way through this their follow up I was like "whoa what a fuckin change for the better". Great way to open a release with an intro sound bite with the spoken words "abandon all hope, motherfuckers." When All Roads Lead To Hell displays a band that has taken their brand of blackened death and thrash to a higher level or should I say lower depths? "Unholy Executioner" comes out at you like a maniac but it's on the next cut "Devil Worshiper" where the full on bludgeoning influences of VENOM meets DISCHARGE at Helvette's record store basement come into play. Normally you would equate something this harsh with a Euro band or maybe some sick fucks from an isolated burg in Illinois. Speaking of the sick, vocalist Mike Abominator still sounds like a venomous python who gargles with hot coals.
But there is one huge change to GRAVEHILL from their last outing. The band sacked one of their guitarists, Adam Pinelli aka: Zyklon-A, from the line-up. In his place they have freakin Matt Harvey of EXHUMED, DEKAPITATOR and REPULSION. The guy is like one of the best death metal/thrash guitarists around. By the mid-point of this dink his style really jumps out at you like on the phenomenal "Suffer No Man To Live" which is like OBITUARY on steroids. "Hell Metal Holocaust" is pure insanity. I can just imagine these guys on stage playing that one with the crowd going ballistic, body's flying everywhere along with body parts. This is not a perfect release of course. On a few cuts there's these momentum killing breakdowns which really suck. Other than that When All Roads Lead To Hell is pure quality worth grabbing onto onece you unclinch your fits. It excels way past their debut. I believe this will just be a notch in the belt for this band who in the future will end up being known as one of America's great extreme metal acts.