No Clean Singing, USA

"The one word that has come to my mind most often in listening to Common Graves is "majestic". The music is intensely dramatic and powerful, without becoming pretentious or self-indulgent. The compositions are intricate and dynamic, but whether raging in a cyclone of fury or moving in immense, sweeping waves — like the passing of huge thunderheads or the roll of ocean swells — the melodies are gripping and memorable.

The music is also invariably dark, threaded with tendrils of doom even in the most sublime moments. You either feel enveloped by catastrophe or get the sense of standing on a precipice, watching it inexorably encroach or rush up at you — or grieve in its aftermath. Yet there are indeed plenty of sublime moments scattered like gems throughout the album, passages of striking beauty that make the heart swell to hear them — just as there are passages of creeping dread and ravaging malignancy.

With a clear production quality, the album makes it easy to appreciate the high level of instrumental proficiency that the band members bring to this work, as well as the multitude of small touches that make the songs so engrossing. And the highly varied vocals are as bursting with fire and fervor as the instrumental music.

This really is a tremendously impressive album — richly textured, beautifully performed, and consistently powerful from start to finish. I’m dismayed that I haven’t seen more attention showered upon it; maybe that will begin to change."