Author: Jan Jakobsen (VENOM_IST_FALSE)
Band: Grave Pleasures
Label: Sony Music / Columbia
Grave Pleasures is a Finnish post-punk band made up by former Beastmilk members. They formed as a new band after the departure of Johan “Goatspeed” Snell and added Juho Vanhanen of Finnish psychedelic black metal act Oranssi Pazuzu as a direct replacement. Current members of Grave Pleasures include Mat “Kvohst” McNerney of Hexvessel and Dødheimsgard fame, Linnèa Olsson from the now split-up band The Oath and Uno Bruniusson from Swedish heavy metallers In Solitude. As you can see, Grave Pleasures sport a lineup of incredibly talented and well known musicians with a record of creating solid rock and metal material.
Grave Pleasures is a direct continuation of the Beastmilk sound, which I think the band themselves described well. Apocalyptic post-punk/deathrock is the genre that best describes Grave Pleasures, which might sound weird if you have never heard neither Beastmilk nor Grave Pleasures but it definitely makes sense. To be honest, my knowledge on post-punk starts with Joy Division and ends with The Cure and deathrock is unknown territory for me. This is why I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed the debut album from Beastmilk, but considering most of the members have close ties to the metal scene I guess it makes sense that they have managed to harvest many fans from people in different scenes, ranging from indie, to punk and metal.
Dreamcrash starts off with Utopian Scream which features excellent drumming and there is some distinct Danzig influence as well which makes for an interesting mix of genres. The first single released prior to the album was New Hip Moon, which is straight up a kickass track with an underlying occult rock atmosphere. It has a dark feel about it and the vocal delivery is really catchy. Crying Wolves is another dark track, but it has more of a gothic feel than an occult feel, I mean, they are Finnish after all. Taste the Void is pure rock’n’roll euphoria featuring driving guitar riffs, pummeling drumming and a catchy chorus. Ticking in at only 2 minutes, 23 seconds it’s the shortest song on the album, but it’s still the most memorable. Lipstick on Your Tombstone reminds me a lot of In Solitudes newest and final album, Sister. This makes sense though since they share the same drummer, but the resemblance is most clear when it comes to the riffing and the hooks.
On Crooked Vein is where the post-punk really shines through. If you were to add some creepy keyboard antics, it probably would have made a great Unknown Pleasures era Joy Division song. It’s also the longest track on the album, with six minutes of apocalyptic post-punk melancholia.
At the end of the day, Dreamcrash is a well crafted album. I do think Grave Pleasures excel when they go more rock than post-punk though, but that might just be me preferring that particular style and not the bands fault. If you enjoyed Climax, the first and only album by Beastmilk, Dreamcrash will surely go down well but I still highly recommend this album by fans of the many other bands that the members feature in, including Hexvessel, In Solitude and The Oath.
- Jan Jakobsen
Check out their website here: http://gravepleasures.com/