‘Derbyshire Grindcore outfit, Raised by Owls, are proud to present their fifty-two minute, monolithic slab of Metal in the form of their sophomore album, “Dreadful”, set for release on the glorious day of exit from the EU, Friday 29th March 2019!’ ….. except…. the UK didn’t, but enough about that…… Thankfully Raised by Owls can be relied upon to deliver the goods and this follow up to their debut “The Great British Grind-off”, continues where they left off with that release.
There is still that heavily humorous element of their debut, something that has always been objective of the band , immediately obvious with titles like “Two Pints of Virgins Blood and a Packet of Crisps”, “Yelling Slayer at your Nan’s Funeral”, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Easily Offended Millennials” and “Night of the Living Dildos”, and aside from the humour there is a theme of horror and the macabre to the tracks, delivered with an eccentricity that only ‘we’ British can manage … and often understand. Personally this album had me crying with laughter from the opener “Noel’s Haunted House Party”, due to the Mr Blobby sound-bites, all the way through to the closer “Halloween at Richard and Judy’s” (and a scary prospect that would be too).
Musically they’ve pushed their musical boundaries and capabilities a little further by incorporating influences from the full spectrum of Metal genres, blending Extreme, Death and Black Metal, along with Thrash and Grind, concentrating on a fuller and more technically focused edge to their sound, Raised by owls are deadly serious when it comes to their musicianship.
“Dreadful” is a monstrous release of twenty-one tracks spanning fifty-one minutes so there’s much more for your money than the average Grind album. there are a couple of typical short sharp, under a minute, offerings; “Eggs Benedict Cumberbatch”, “The Philip Schofield Chainsaw Massacre”, “Rob Halford Robs Halfords”, “Owen Wilson Says Wow” which is only nine seconds but plenty long enough to be honest and the aforementioned “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Easily Offended Millennials”.
The ‘Dreadful’ highlights for me are predominantly the longer tracks, which illustrate more fully what Raised by Owls are capable of; ”Noel’s Haunted House Party” a sinister symphonic opener, switching between unrelentingly crushing and bleakly poignant, topped off with those aforementioned Mr Blobby sound-bites throughout making it a dark yet hilarious opener. “Netflix and Kill”, with a blood curdling opening scream and a modern and brutal feel to the construct. “Two Pints of Virgin’s Blood and a Packet of Crisps” is d-beat dominated with a thrashy drive making it an addictive listen. “Cult of David Dickinson”, I’ll never look at David Dickinson in the same light after listening to this blackened gem, it’s a Bobby Dazzler! The couple of shorter exceptions at under two minutes are “Gordon Ramsay’s Insatiable Appetite for Human Flesh”. Groovy, punchy and crushingly good and “Night of the Living Dildos”, made hilarious by the addition of well chosen sound-bites, and finally the monster “Halloween at Richard and Judy’s” , atmospheric Black Metal edged Grind, the longest track of the release at over six minutes and my favourite track of the album.
Fans of Lawnmower Deth in particular will love this album. If there’s only room in your heart for one Grind album make it “Dreadful” because despite what the tenth track of this release, “Burning Churches Is the Most Fun You Can Have Without Taking Your Clothes Off” claims, you can remain fully clothed and enjoy yourself just listening to this album, it’s a well varied, well executed and hilarious release..
Rating – 4.5/5
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