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Album Review

Goner is one of those releases that is short by album standards (it only lasts 25 minutes) but has too many songs to be considered an EP (there are ten tunes altogether). However, a lot can happen in the course of 25 minutes, and when a metal band is as relentlessly ferocious as Early Graves, 25 minutes is more than enough time to pummel and stomp the listener into total submission. Early Graves favor dense, bone-crushing alternative metal with a strong hardcore influence and elements of thrash metal (Slayer is a prominent inspiration) and crust punk; some folks might describe Goner as metalcore, but this 2010 release isn't metalcore in the Hatebreed/Throwdown/Brick Bath sense. Instead of emulating 21st century metalcore bands, Goner gets a lot of inspiration from the hardcore bands of the '80s — although scorching tracks like "Trauma," "Faith Is S**t," and "Bastard Tears" are much heavier, much harsher, and much more abrasive than the hardcore recordings of that era. This is a violent, caustic, totally unforgiving CD, and Early Graves go for maximum density in order to lacerate their audience as much as possible. These Northern Californians obviously realize how powerful a weapon density can be; density is something that everyone from Slayer to saxophonist Charles Gayle (one of free jazz's most incendiary firebrands) to Norwegian black metallers Gorgoroth have used to increase the heaviness factor, and there is no shortage of heaviness on Goner. Of course, albums this unapologetically vicious aren't everyone's cup of tea; Goner isn't for those who only like their metal with a lot of melody and plenty of nuance, but it's an exciting, if predictable, listen if one is in the mood for some truly bombastic sensory assault.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

When the extreme metal band Apiary realized their album title Lost in Focus was becoming painfully ironic, the founding members began jumping ship. New hires were brought on board and when nearly every original Apiary member had been replaced, it was obvious that a name change was necessary. Vocalist Makh Daniels, guitarist Chris Brock, bassist Tyler Jensen, and drummer Dan Sneddon re-emerged as Early Graves, an unforgiving juggernaut of a band that injected early punk attitude and the dirty crust...
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Top Albums and Songs by Early Graves

Goner, Early Graves
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