Review: “Gold & Decay” by Upon Your Grave

The roots of Quebec City Canadian Death Metal collective Upon Your Grave go back to 2009 with their first single “Haunting of the Beast” landing in 2011 before two years later the quartet unleashed their debut album “Eponym“, a record so well received it opened the doors for shows with Vital Remains, Skeletonwitch and Battlecross to name but a few. After that initial run however the band dissipated for reasons unknown with members going on to release albums with other projects including Vibrant Heels and Universal Minds, seemingly leaving this one for dead, consigned to the mists of time. However six years on in 2019 at their 10th anniversary, original trio Sim Diamond (Lead Guitar), Jordan Jolicoeur (Vocals) and Alex “Grave” Bussieres (Rhythm Guitar) got together with friends Yan Pelletier (Bass) and Sebastien Gagne (Drums) from Scars Of Disgrace with original drummer Manuel Allaire-Durand no longer involved. Their mission to write new music having re-ignited the flames of their project with Sim Diamond as the main writer. Entering the studio with Cryptopsy guitarist Christian Donaldson (The Agonist, Psycroptic) of in March of 2022 who record was mixed and mastered, the final product is “Gold & Decay” which saw Alex Rancourt playing bass in the studio…

…introduction instrumental piece “Revived” is one straight from the Trivium playbook of acoustic guitar, providing a melody to cleanse the palate before the Groove Metal violence of “From Beyond” begins. A powerhouse that starts slowly, it improves as it plays out with some incredible vibrant solos and classic 2003 era Metalcore riffs and swathes of percussive battery driving things forward at a thunderous pace. Picking up the pace “Pandora” tips the hat to early Lamb Of God with Gagne delivering some impressive fills and blasting moments over the high rate extinction level Groove Metal riffs which beg for a neck snapping headbanging if not mosh pit activities. The energy is is nothing short of infectious while the references to the story of Pandora’s box in the lyrical narrative offer a new perspective. “Supremacy” continues in the same vein, packing a serious punch with staccato breaks in the music and venomous vocals with Jolicoeur’s dry throated unclean style meaning that every single word can be heard. The riffs are fun, energetic and familiar sounding with the bands choice of guitar tone, something which gives the whole record an instant appeal as well as being something you want to come back to time and again for the sheer groove. Guitarist Sim Diamond was a Finalist in the first season of Banger TV’s Shredders of Metal and on this record he confirms exactly why with a dominant display enhanced by the work behind the boards of a heavyweight producer in Donaldson who it has to be said nails the mix perfectly. Finishing the tsunami “Transcend” is an absolute tour de force of modern Groove laden Death Metal with chunky riffs, blast beats and a sublime extended solo from Diamond that is worth the admission fee alone. There are no two ways about it, Upon Your Grave need to get back on the road and then back in the studio with Donaldson at the helm because like a Vampire suffers from a bloodlust, we need to hear more from them… [8/10]

Track Listing

  1. Revived
  2. From Beyond
  3. Pandora
  4. Supremacy
  5. Transcend

Gold & Decay” by Upon Your Grave is out 7th October 2022 with pre-orders available over at bandcamp

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *