"Black Epitaph" (Self-released; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

"Black Epitaph," by British Columbia's Drivin, draws on 80s thrash, early 90s death metal and some more recent influences as well. The first thing I noticed about the music is that the band immediately established a heavy and deep wall of sound. The production is a little shaggy around the edges, but that actually helped their style because it gives them some needed edginess.

The vocals are gravelly, but clear enough to really work. They draw on Slayer, early Cannibal Corpse and, down below the surface, I even heard some finger bending riffs reminiscent of early Megadeth. Drivin tap into a primitive vibe and that makes up the strongest parts of their sound. They have a good handle on how to create the kind of pounding rhythms that draw you in right away.

The biggest problem with "Black Epitaph" is that on several songs the band seem too content to stay at one speed and they never quite just plunge forward. On several occasions they seemed to be set to burst into some thrash passages, but instead they were simply content to chug along and never step up the pace. In fact it was a few songs into it before they really pull out the speed parts.

There are seven selections here, but the opener, "Death Metal Wind," is just an intro so we really get just over half an hour of music. Drivin eventually pull everything together enough to put out some powerful and likable material. However there are some places here and there where they could stand some tightening and they could benefit from taking a few more risks as well.

For more information, check out http://www.myspace.com/tdrivint.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 26 Sep 2022 12:18:30 -0400.