Zombie punk rockers Grave Robber have made a powerful return with their a long-awaited and deliciously creepy full-length album, Escaping the Grave, released on April 13th.
My first impression of Grave Robber was stumbling across Be Afraid shortly after it’s release, and I was instantly hooked. Even through the passage of time and a bit of member turnover, Grave Robber continues to bleed punk rock. Over the last few albums Grave Robber’s sound has leaned into metal and rock ‘n roll but Escaping the Grave is out and out punk rock. Raw, energetic, and just plain fun. As much as I dug the metallic riffs and the horror-Elvis of some past albums, this is a filthy, fast, and fun return to Grave Robber’s punk rock roots. Front to back, this album feels like that Grave Robber I fell in love with a decade ago.
Escaping the Grave doesn’t fall into the trap of being overproduced or too polished and, refreshingly, I feel like these songs sound just like they would in a live (or rather, undead) show. Wretched’s vocals are as powerful as ever, and the album offers plenty of “Whoa-oh’s” to keep you going through these catchy, infectious tracks. The songwriting is always interesting and varies enough that you never lose interest. A couple definite highlights are the quick and in-your-face, “The Beast Within” and “Into the Pit.”
I’ve always admired the clever, Alice Cooper type lyricism of the band. The lyrics are graphic, brutal, full of layers, storytelling and even humor. These songs are packed with Biblical imagery and phrases that would strike familiar to those acquainted with the language of the Church, but even if that’s not your thing, you’re going to dig some sweet horror themed jams.
I gave Grave Robber’s Straight to Hell EP, a “4.5 bloody shovels out of five” rating and Escaping the Grave tops even that record. Escaping the Grave is a welcome look back to Grave Robber’s straight up fast punk roots while charging forward with a fresh new energy. Escaping the Grave is a masterful collection of blood spattered punk rock.
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