Graf Orlock

Crime Traveler

Whoa, whoa, whoa—you on the list, fuckface?

dB Rating: 9/10

Release Date: February 5th, 2016
Label: Vitriol

Are Graf Orlock the new Mortician? Easy comparison, sure—both base their songs around movie samples, with GO throwing shade with action-movie shades on and Mortician opting for “the cheaper, the better” horror. And while Mortician’s holiday meme game is A++, they’ve barely been active—as far as we know—with pairing the right Neanderthal riffs to the right sample. Graf Orlock are making up the lost space with Crime Traveler, and their music has more riffs in one song than Mortician do on one side.

Even with more advanced musicianship, there’s that same sense of glee where a smirk can be pulled off while grinding. Difficult, but not impossible. “Afternoon Lunch at the Red Bacchus” leads off with a Grease-reject cat-caller getting a swift kick to his useless groin, a perfect track to unleash when some prick lets you know how he really feels about Myrkur. The hit sound is as potent as the Converge-ized Slayer riffing that follows. And when the gunshots in “Our Infallible Cybernetic Future” sync with the opening guitar? Bliss. “600,000 Tons of Explosive Ordnance” somehow takes every HM-2 Instagram metalcore cliché and finds new life in spacing out doom hardcore riffs.

The samples don’t weave in and out like they do before, which led to frantic music becoming damn near neurotic, but a consistent pattern makes Traveler Graf’s most focused effort yet.

—Andy O’Connor
Review originally printed in the April 2016 issue.