When it comes to capturing Grim Ravine‘s mission statement, there’s no song title more fitting than opening offering “Shrine of Misery.” Sure, dark-watered creeks can carve their way through ancient rock to form valleys. But Grim Ravine’s doom is more like a glacier leaving a canyon in its wake. Then they fill that canyon with misanthropy, amplifier feedback, and a few shit-tons of fossilized misery.
The Light is From Below – out February 17th from Black Bow Records – finds Grim Ravine prowling somewhere in the wasteland between Bongripper’s black-resin doom and Iron Monkey’s least forgiving sludge. Even when a 2 minute interlude (“Translunary”) or occasional gentle passage offers reprieve, it’s just a momentary breather to cough the thick mud out of your lungs. While Grim Ravine was formed in an English pub, this isn’t the soundtrack for tapping cheers and tossing back a pint. This is the sound of rock-bottom, and they make it sound damn good.
If you’re familiar with Black Bow Records, you know that it’s run by Jon Davis of volume-addicts Conan. While the label’s diversity continues to expand, Grim Ravine represents the foundation of the label’s strengths: a self-described proclivity to “worship tone and riffs.” But there are some other recurring attributes: Heavy, and loud. The Light is From Below is a half-hour of suffocating distortion with enough fuzzed-out groove (“Hypernova”) and somber melody (“Vacant Mass”) to keep you alive until the final blow snuffs you out.
Stream Grim Ravine’s The Light is From Below, and sink into their quagmire of riffs and bad intentions. Below, find beer recommendations and collective thoughts from the band about how – in Tom Waits’ words – misery’s the river of the world. But first: THE DOOM.
Outside of music, what inspires Grim Ravine?
Grim Ravine: Misery and the pain of the world’s turmoil inspires us to write. We also like to write about space, fantasy worlds, and planets.
Rumor has it that you all met in a desolate pub. Since Decibel has a Metal & Beer festival coming up, what are some of your favorite beers?
GR: Anything black and opaque so you can’t see the world through the other side. Here’s a few of our recommendations:
Dark Star Brewery – Espresso / Black Sheep – Riggwelte / Wychwood – Black Wych / Camden Brewery – Camden Ink stout
What does Grim Ravine have planned for 2017 and beyond?
GR: We’re in the writing process again, so another release will be on the horizon. But mainly our goal is to play as many shows as possible and spread our misery over this desolate world.