In the music industry, there is always something to be said for self-promotion. Naturally, while not every act that sends their music to Hated One Metal Reviews should expect to automatically receive ink, this also does not mean that independent acts shouldn’t keep plugging away at sending their music to as many willing sets of ears as they can find – especially those attached to the heads of journalists – because they never know when the stars will align and their good timing will be rewarded with a feature article about their forthcoming release.
Although still evolving, morphing, and gradually shedding the “deathcore” tag that they have been branded with since forming in 2012, Boston’s progressive death outfit Graveborn nevertheless reached out to Hated One last month to politely and professionally ask if any interest existed around these parts to hear their latest work, Transmigrator, due out independently on May 25th, 2021.
Now, anyone who has regularly read Hated One over the past couple years should know full well that the company line on “core” bands (hardcore, deathcore, metalcore) is to declare these niche, offshoot genres as persona non grata, and to let other sites, journalists, and promoters who truly enjoy them and push them their space to do so without interference (but also without support or praise, either). It’s a big, wide world out there and there is plenty of room for us all... however, that doesn’t mean Hated One has to push it all, right? Right.
Anyway, since the representative of Graveborn introduced his band as one of the progressive death bent, Hated One had no qualms accepting the invite to listen to Transmigrator; and even after discovering that the Boston-born quartet still has the deathcore moniker attached to it in some circles, it became audibly obvious and apparent from even one listen to this independent diamond-in-the-rough that Graveborn are actively progressing in all senses of the word: in maturity, in influence, and, most literally, in quality and depth of sound and feel.
Almost wholly bereft of deathcore in its entirety (the opener “Moksha” is its one, lone appearance out of seven full tracks and five interludes), Transmigrator is an eye-opening effort from these East Coast not-so-newcomers. Some of the most addictive tracks out of the lot include the eerily Rivers of Nihil-like “The Place Where Beasts Eat Hearts”, the first single “Coded Collective”, “The Singularity”, and the title-track, “Transmigrator”.
Well on their way to truly finding themselves and their sound, Graveborn’s Transmigrator should net these progressive death converts many new fans, listeners, and perhaps even the attention of a few mid-level labels looking to fill out their ranks with eager new talent who aren’t afraid to throw caution to the wind and promote themselves with professionalism and class.
To peep the video for “Coded Collective”, simply press play below, and if you’re picking up what Graveborn is putting down, you can support the band further by following the links at the bottom of the post. Enjoy, and stay metal, always! \m/ Ω
Rating: 93 / 100 (A-)
Release Date: May 25th, 2021 (Independent)
Genre: Progressive Death
FFO: Gorguts, Convulse, Rivers of Nihil, Neck of the Woods, Coexistence, Colosso, Shadow in the Darkness, Sutrah