As the creative vision of Conan frontman Jon Davis, his latest iteration in the band Ungraven is a proper homage to the 90s' heft of bands like Nailbomb, Godflesh, and Sepultura.
Though the project showcases Davis' consistent love for the riff, the stylistic shift is definitive example of his versatility and skilled range as an artist. With cohorts David Ryley (bass) and Tyler Hodges (drums) onboard, the project that was intended to be a solo effort has since evolved into its own entity, now solidified with the arrival of a potent new split EP with Belfast sludge outfit, Slomatics.
Ungraven architect and founder of the releasing label Blackbow Records detailed the significance of the split EP. "As the world groans and creaks and crawls forward in slow motion we chose to release three tracks with our brothers in Slomatics, our first on vinyl.
"Ungraven was an idea that started in my head as I drove into Richmond Virginia in 2017, on tour with Conan. It was originally intended as a solo act. 'Blackened Gates' and 'Onwards She Rides' were initially written to be performed with a drum machine, while 'Defeat The Object' came along during rehearsal with Tyler before we toured early March 2020, before the earth stood still. Enjoy.’
The 6-track effort offers three a piece from each contributing unit, packaging a dynamic delivery of distortion, a brilliant mesh of riff-centric tracks that range from the murky to maniacal.
Ungraven's classic crush of proper 90's antagonism tastefully articulates a sense of nostalgia, without relying on it. The band's multi-genre embrace is articulated in their ability to showcases their influences, without repeating them. Slomatics brand of towering heft is layered, nuanced, and thoroughly consuming. If cinematic sludge exists, this is it.
While the EP arrives officially on March 5th, the stream is available as an exclusive below. Davis shared the following of the premiere. "We are proud to present this release to you through Knotfest.com. Ungraven is a new band including members of Conan, Fudge Tunnel and Tuskar and Slomatics are the kings of interstellar sludge metal. This split SLAYS, and is for fans of Black Cobra, Melvins, Monster Magnet and Big Black.'
The EP is available for pre-order via Black Bow Records - HERE—