The London-based band got my attention by describing their music as Heavy Gloom, as opposed to Doom or Sludge. I was intrigued to see what they felt was different from the genres and if it was a new take on a sound that often grips me.
Communion will be Grave Lines’s third album, following the debut Welcome To Nothing which was followed by Fed Into The Nihilist Engine in 2018. Wanting to continue their exploration into the ugly side of humanity whilst using aspects of other genres such as gothic and experimental into the traditional Doom sound to create their niche.
The album is made up of 7 tracks that span around 44 minutes and as soon as the distortion fades, a filthy riff begins to lick away at you before a distant vocal begins and things take a turn for the slower and darker than you would associate with other genres, but maybe Grave Lines have some additional more sinister higher string work rather than solely the dingy undertones.
I have to say, it works a treat though, with the low sounds being attacked by the higher simple notes whilst the drums continue the pace at slow and pedestrian, before the guitar seeps into a more distorted and abrasive sound. You can see the extra bits that are being thrown in and they don’t feel out of place at all.
If this is what Gloom is, then I am convinced. The fact is that the basis is that Doom that we love, but when you throw in the extra influences, it brings a new dimension that works so well, you don’t even notice it at times. It’s as if it’s always been there.
The album itself is packed full of heavy-hitting riffs and you can feel the emotion that has been poured into making the music. A steady pace can sometimes be the downfall of music that is released, it is at its most vulnerable and stripped back with long pauses, but here Grave Lines use the moments to allow you to take on what you are hearing and absorb what they have created.
Communion is a grower and one that deserves some investment because it really has many hidden bonus layers. If you are expecting a Doom album, this is not it, this is more. Allow yourself to have your horizons broadened, even if they are still on the Gloomy side.
Communionwill be released Friday 15th July 2022 via New Heavy Sounds Records.