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Album Reviews : Deathwhite – Grave Image

By on March 14, 2020

It can’t be easy releasing a death-doom / goth-doom album in the same year that My Dying Bride are also releasing a studio album, let alone a mere 5 weeks to the day before MDB’s latest release. Fortunately, Deathwhite has done a few things on Grave Image that begin to establish their musical identity whilst still clearly showing that MDB is a huge influence on their sound.

Deathwhite undeniably leans heavier into doom and goth influences on Grave Image than their previous release For A Black Tomorrow, as made immediately clear by the deliberately slow beginnings on Funeral Ground. The death riffs start to rear their head on In Eclipse, and these classic death-doom riffs are a staple of their sound throughout Grave Image. Otherwise, drums, bass, and rhythm guitar all seem to metaphorically point to and direct attention towards the vocals and guitar leads; both of which conjure mental images of ghosts and spectres. These softer sections lull the listener into a sense of eerie tranquillity before being abruptly interrupted by punishing chugging; which is particularly conducive to headbanging.

The tracks on Grave Image seem to alternate between sharp truncations and those with fade-outs. This alternation feels very deliberate and not simply that the band only knows two ways to finish a song. Delving into the cryptic and vague lyrics offers no insight into why this stylistic choice has been made; further adding to the mystery that is the focal point of the album and the band itself.

Grave Image is a deliberate and noticeable side-step for Deathwhite from their previous release For A Black Tomorrow. Considering this is just the second release from them, it serves as a potent and impressive foundation upon which it’s safe to assume they’ll continue to improve; will they further explore the death-doom stylings shown on Grave Image or will they keep listeners guessing by venturing into ever new territory with their next release?

Band: Deathwhite
Album: Grave Image
Year: 2020
Genre: Doom Metal
Label: Season of Mist
Origin: USA