5 STAR GRAVE – Drugstore Hell
A six piece modern metal act from Italy, 5 Star Grave on their second album “Drugstore Hell” aim squarely at the heart of youthful rebellion with these 11 songs. The stuttering computer vocal effects on “Death Put A Smile On My Face” give the band an industrial edge to their normal punk rock influenced metal sensibilities. The jackhammer riffing intertwining with a catchy guitar refrain makes “If” an instant early winner- punctuated with the sarcastic echo laugh at just the right times.
Claudio Ravinale’s one dimensional screaming renders songs like “When The Lights Go Out” and the old school sounding “Death Times Eleven” much weaker than they could have been. He needs to vary his impact and understand that you can be extreme with a little bit of versatility. Employing Herve De Zulian as a full time keyboardist adds this darker edge while filling the mid-range for exciting material like “Dead Girls Don’t Say No” and “Daddy”. Love the cover art, its comic book feel could grab instant shelf appeal for those interested in the total package concept.
5 Star Grave have the spirit of Wednesday 13 and Rob Zombie coming through in a raw Soilwork/ In Flames aggressive dual guitar platform. I can see great crossover potential from many audiences, but the vocals are going to need more work if 5 Star Grave hopes to climb up the ladder to headline status. Keep plugging away gentlemen, for something worthwhile appears to be brewing in your sound.