Perhaps one of my favorite styles of music is the bending of one until it shows the stress of another. Black metal and punk rock are not that far from each other in terms of residence though whenever hardcore is infused with the style, it comes across more as black metal with a hardcore punk exterior. Owls Woods Graves is different than what one would normally think of as crust or even black hardcore. The debut EP from this Polish outfit sees a punk band that lost their way in the wilderness and made shelters in empty tombs.
My enthusiasm for Owls Woods Graves goes beyond any future I see for the combination of a punk leaning extreme metal. The extreme nature of hardcore punk matches the intensity of the subject matter in an EP which is both spooky and bearing teeth. The simple power chord progressions which are a hallmark of punk float naturally in the grim crypts of extreme metal. Songs like “Devil Is Real I Saw Him in the Woods” are anthemic in their gang vocals but only chilling when you realize everyone singing is probably dead. It takes a strange combination like this to conjure images of hellish congress.
My hopes for Owls Woods Graves is high and not just because I feel their name is really cool. My hope for Owls Woods Graves rests on the fact that here is a band that can take a well worn combination like black metal and punk and make it sound either different or at least new than what was expected. The very traditional vocal bridge of “Do you deny the evil?” was something that I never thought I would hear in a black metal record and was actually something I thought I imagined the first time listening. Whether or not these group of Polish vagabonds will be the harbingers for a more crusty future is as of yet unknown. What I do know is we have a vile artifact to glean information from.