Whereas most of the genre plays well within the confines, being an avid fan of the gloomy genre known simply as Doom, I do find occasionally an artist or album that really pushes the boundaries. Grave Lines latest effort, Fed Into The Nihilist Engine (New Heavy Sounds), does just this with an eclectic mix of what I can only describe as Doom Metal with crescendo; post-Metal song structures that sprinkle in some Folk influences as well. Like the instrumentals, the vocals are all over the place too, in a good way. All the changes in sounds and vocals are meticulously crafted and placed to give the album a storybook feel with highs and lows.
Picking out favorite tracks on this album was nearly impossible as even the acoustic feeling songs were chilling and really kept my attention. The first track, ‘Failed Skin’, really sets the tone of what the album ahead will contain. Starting off with clean vocals, clean guitars, it then continuously builds for a solid ten minutes. Harsh vocals, distorted guitars, and thunderous drum work pillage the listeners’ ears. ‘Silent Salt’ is another great song that keeps building on itself, the difference being, it starts out already on fire and the gas is just being dumped on it until suddenly the fire goes out. The album wraps up with the appropriately named, ‘The Nihilist Engine’, a song that starts and finishes strong with some of the greatest grooves on the whole record.
The best albums take you on a journey from start to end and keep you grounded throughout. Fed Into The Nihilist Engine does exactly this by expanding the horizons of the Doom genre and provides variations from song to song as if each one is a new chapter in the story. If Grave Lines were not known to the Doom world yet, this album will certainly put them on the map.