Grave Violator – Back to the Cult Review

Does anyone remember Nattefrost and Carpathian Forest? Not that they’ve fallen from the face of the Earth but neither band has released a full-length album in thirteen fucking years. So, I wouldn’t blame you for moving on to other filthy, leather-clad black metal outfits. Hell, even most of the original members of Carpathian Forest got tired of waiting around for another release—instead branching off to a variety of other musical outlets.1 But, for all the hate, filth, satanism, and unholy loads of Nattefrost piss, puke, and jizz, these two bands hold a warm, throbbing spot in my heart. But, lo and behold, there is a young band with the same kind of perverted mindset. A band that combines CF/Nattefrost black ‘n’ roll with Nattefrost’s shock-value lyrics, alongside doses of Ghoulish death/thrash and Venomized groove. It’s time to take a trip Back to the Cult with Finland’s Grave Violator.

But there’s nothing happy in this land of perversion and violence. And, without even a moment to contemplate what you’ve gotten yourself into, opener “Baptized in Filthy Semen” hits you square between the eyes with an unexpected load. It’s a black ‘n’ roll hell-ride straight from the sperm bank that is Nattefrost’s mind. It’s as disturbing as Nattefrost‘s “Whore (Filthy Whore),” with plenty of addictive Toxic Holocaust moments. It’s a strong opener but its “fun” level depends on one’s sick and twisted mind.

Other pieces that’ll make any respectable human being quit sex for at least six weeks are the Sodom-meets-Nattefrost “Forced Flesh” and the drum-happy, black ‘n’ roll number, “Deliverance.” Both are fucked (lyrically) but their riffs and rawness have moments of enjoyability. In particular, the solo work of “Forced Flesh” is a surprising addition. As well as the drum and guitar work of the Ghoulishly “Ritual Humiliation” and the to-the-point, black/thrash closer “Feed the Dead.”

Yet, the pieces that stand out the most amongst the all the black ‘n’ roll and Venomousness, such as “Knife Fighter,” are the back-to-back-to-back “Accusations,” “Back to the Cult,” and “Chamber of Demons.” The first is a surprising, mid-album instrumental that could be on Testament‘s The New Order. It’s odd, yet soothing. Though, it’s in no way fitting for an album of this caliber. The title track, on the other hand, is the quintessential ditty you’d want carrying the album’s moniker. It’s a groovy rocker whose chorus will have Cronos fans reminiscing and sobbing about the good ole days. But “Chamber of Demons” is the all-encompassing piece of the album. Its seven-and-a-half-minute runtime allows the song to travel the dark, brooding caverns of second-wave black metal, then across the ancient ruins of Venom to the death-strewn lands of Autopsy and thrash-stricken deserts of Norwegian black/thrash. It’s an impressive mix and, like “Accusations,” a shocker of a song when comparing it to the rest of the disc.

Back to the Cult ain’t groundbreaking material. And, even if it was as “groundbreaking” as Nattefrost‘s Blood and Vomit,2 most of the underground will still shun it. Not to mention all the mainstream fans. That said, Nattefrost and Carpathian Forest followers will find something here to help fill that filthy void they’ve had a tarp over for years. Back to the Cult ain’t for every black metal fan (or most metal fans, in general) but the shock value has its moments.3

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Reaper Metal Productions | Bandcamp
Website: Two kvltie
Releases Worldwide: March 22nd, 2019

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Such as The 3rd Attempt and the reincarnation of In the Woods…
  2. “Groundbreaking” is sarcasm, so chill the fuck out.
  3. At least Back to the Cult feels more fun and less fucked up than Nattefrost records.
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