One-hundred percent pure nihilistic rage and gritty filth can’t be bought at the goddamn dollar store. Sure, I know, any band under the sun can throw words like “crushing”, “killer” or Satan forbid, the all-too-cliché “br00tal” that is ground into the dirt by countless youngsters these days. But any self-respecting follower of the sincere, legitimate and unimaginably devastating shit knows how to tell a faker in disguise. Far too many bands today are just going through the motions, just so they can draw those impressionable kids in, like so many complacent sheep to the poser slaughter. I’m talking about the massive amount of color-by-numbers halfwits that defecate record after record, completely void of any substance or (gasp!) true, furious power and emotion. That type of band can be found anywhere you look. The supply is unfortunately endless. It’s like some asshole grabbed their trusty monkey wrench and opened the corroded floodgate of shit bands full-bore. And sadly, the number of complacent casualties from the resulting flood is catastrophic. Yes, boys and girls, chances are great that you know at least one victim of this atrocity! Thankfully, there are those who willingly accept the honorable duty of cleaning up what we all know as the world of extreme music…those unholy janitors from Hell that will mop the floor up with the battered remnants of a substance-lacking clone’s rock star delusions. And, here we have the latest crusty, blister-fingered crew ready and willing to cleanse the fucking halls free of the weak, those hell-raising demoniacs, from Gainesville, Florida…Hot Graves.
Formed in late 2007 (and originally intended as a side-project featuring members of Secrets She Kept, By The Horns, and Thee Kvlt ov Ouroboros), the band combines Hellhammer-style harshness with barbed elements of thrash, death and doom punishment for the eardrum. Emphatically praised by Darkthrone’s Fenriz, Hot Graves masterfully harness the hellish spirits of the likes of Celtic Frost, Venom, and Amebix and inject their own personal dose of d-beat infused darkness and misanthropy, in turn creating a rabid behemoth so generally fucked-up that the weak-at-heart will have gloriously troubling nightmares for eternity.
Their new assault on humanity, Knights in White Phosphorus (NHR Records), was produced and mixed in collaboration with Carson Cox, while James Murphy (Death, Aborted) mastered the whole massacre at his very own Safehouse Productions studio. Fresh on the trail of the Desecration Time seven-inch and comprised of fifteen tracks, the majority of which barely clear two minutes, the record is essentially a lightning-paced swan dive into hellish, thrashing chaos. There is no distinguishing the good from bad on this one, as it’s all some seriously lethal stuff. “Worship the Goat”, “Kill for Satan”, and the death-inviting “Get Killed Tonight” are all shining gems, glistening with the steaming blood of the fallen. The instrumental “Dirge ov the Apocalyptik Hordes ov the Toxik Damned”, being the only real intermission from break-neck pacing, takes on a decidedly more doom-aligned approach and is the second longest ritual found here, next to kill-them-fucking-all album closer, “Desecration Time”.
So, all that being said, if you pass this up for some floor-punching, circle-pit, frat boy wannabe “metalhead” crap, you’re a fool, plain and simple. This band is truly onto something, and that would be destroying what you thought was some “heavy” shit. The only halfway noticeable downside is that it’ll probably require most listeners (assuming you’re fond of the Hot Graves sound, and I see no reason whatsoever why you shouldn’t be) to put this beast on repeat more than a few times before the idea of just how infernal this thing is truly sinks in. Only then will one appreciate honest annihilation. Official Forbidden Magazine memo to the unaware: Hot Graves are here to clean house!