|Second Grave, l-r Chris Drzal, Dave Gein, Krista Van Guilder, and Chuck Ferreira|
Second Grave is a pretty killer second act for a quartet of vets from the stoner, doom and psych metal trenches. Second Grave makes its live debut Thursday, Aug. 30, at Ralph’s Diner, 148 Grove St., Worcester, as part of the Metal Thursday series. Faces of Bayon and two more bands to be announced are also playing.
Second Grave features ex-Warhorse singer Krista Van Guilder, ex Nodscene drummer Chuck Ferreira, ex-Suckapunch guitarist Chris Drzal, and current Black Pyramid bassist Dave Gein.
Second Grave comes out swinging with a debut E.P. that is simply huge and ominous. The chiming instrumental intro “Through the Red Door” sets up the slow-burning “Covet.” The tune digs a dark groove for a few minutes before Van Guilder’s vocals soar out of the abyss. It’s a dynamic that works across the board.
But the band doesn’t use its contrasting doom tunes and clarion vocals as an easy formula. The songs bounce from the condemning “Covet” to the fantasy nightmare of “Mountains of Madness.” And while most of the songs hit that 8-minute doom/psych pre-epic standard, Second Grave isn’t afraid to toss out a compact, hard rocking gem such as “Soul Extinction.”
“We’re all in our mid-30s and we’ve all been around the block with this style of music. We’re at a point where we want to experiment,” Ferreira says.
Ferreira contacted Van Guilder early last year about starting a project. With Drzal and another bassist, things progressed slowly until Gein joined in September, providing a shot in the arm and additional sonic surface to explore.
“We like to say we’re doom-tinged, or doom-laden. But once Dave joined, we had a guy from Black Pyramid and that whole influence,” Ferreira says of the distinctly trippy vibes worked into Second Grave.
Van Guilder handles all of the lyrics and says the writing knows no boundaries.
“The music comes first, and I’m a guitar player so I think about fitting words to music,” she says. “The subjects just start with what I see around me. I see what’s happening or is in the news and look for a story to tell, a way to spin it.”
When Warhorse was roaring back around ’96 it was typically the odd band on the bill.
“There wasn’t much of a doom scene. A lot of people didn’t seem to get it or didn’t appreciate it,” Van Guilder says. “Last year I went to a Metal Thursday at Ralph’s and it was packed. And it was pretty much all doom. It’s a funny turn of events. I think this band is coming out at the right time.”
And it’s a nicely calculated arrival. The E.P. is a fantastic calling card, recorded with Black Pyramid’s Clay Neely producing.
Ferreira says Second Grave will keep working on new material and building the fan base as it ramps up to a full-length recording.
“I think it will be an interesting year,” he says.
And it’s off to a pretty good start.
To check out the tunes, follow this link to the Second grave's Bandcamp page http://secondgrave.bandcamp.com/album/second-grave
Out and about, Kataklysm headlines Wednesday, Aug. 29 at The Palladium, 261 Main St., Worcester. Show time is 7 p.m. with Fleshgod Apocalypse, Vital Remains, The Flooding, and In Harm’s Way also playing.
Widow Sunday bids adieu with a farewell show Thursday, Aug. 30, at Great Scott, 1222 Commonwealth Ave., Allston. Pathogenic, Murdoc, and Your Pain Is Endearing are also on the bill.
Lich King, Zombie Fighter, Flood of Arcadia, Trendemic, and Elementalist play Friday, Aug. 31, at Black Moon Music Lounge, 37 State St. Belchertown. The 18+ show starts at 8 p.m. A Wanted Awakening was originally on the bill but bowed out this week for medical reasons. Get well soon, fellas.