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Review: Graven Rite - The Summoner's Pit
Graven Rite
gravenrite.bandcamp.com
The Summoner's Pit

Label: Inazuma Productions
Year released: 2013
Duration: 19:21
Tracks: 5
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: September 8, 2015
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
for:
The Summoner's Pit

Rated 3.57/5 (71.43%) (7 Votes)
Review


I remember being shown this around release, and forgetting all about it until I got hot on Eternal Champion. It's only recently that I finally bought digital, making up for some lost time (seriously, if anyone knows where I could grab a tape, get in touch!). If you're a into eighties US Heavy/Power Metal – particularly the more obscure, barely made it out of the demo period type stuff - then this is a band you need in your life.

Everything from the songs to overall production secretes underground charm; the recording is very basic and traditional, contributing to a dusty, archaic atmosphere which absolutely recalls the work of Manilla Road, Brocas Helm, or Longings Past. Jason Tarpey has one of those unique voices which isn't insanely powerful or technical, but is about as metal as it comes. Otherworldly would be a good descriptor, and his voice is a massive part of the appeal.

Of course, the music throughout is a veritable feast of epic metal pleasures, from propulsive eighties-style riff flinging to more expressive movements which would recall late seventies Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. The crowning achievement of this demo would be the superb title track, which could have been a lost Iron Maiden epic. Very atmospheric and building, boasting strong vocal and guitar lines which works toward an explosive second half; totally awesome.

There's little wrong with The Summoner's Pit. To nit-pick I'd say the shorter songs do feel somewhat undercooked, but I think that's more to do with the sheer display of brilliance in the title track and "Bloodstone Ring". I'd love to hear more from Graven Rite in the future, as this is a killer opening salvo. For now, this is a strong demo and a great addition to the US Epic/Heavy/Power Metal canon.

Other related information on the site
Review: The Summoner's Pit (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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