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New Jersey’s Dig Two Graves have a new EP out this month, cheerfully entitled Deathwish, and the band puts their skillful mixture of progressive metal and dream pop on full display here. It is precisely this unique blending which separates the group from a genre that, even in their home state alone, is crowded to say the least. The EP is a loose concept album of sorts as the two predominant themes across this collection of songs are hurt and loss. The band attempts to echo this with the aesthetic of space and its all-encompassing emptiness, but the angst and anxiety inherent in the music accomplishes this feeling equally well.
The first song “As Above,” is an atmospheric, instrumental introduction, but the first proper track, aptly titled “Track 2” is fairly straightforward progressive metal. That’s where tradition ends, however, because as the EP continues, the songs progressively deviate more and more from standard metal formula. “Wick” has some beautifully quiet, melodic moments like the calm before the storm, and the title track “Deathwish” threatens as times to forgo metal entirely for dream pop. The EP could have, perhaps, used even more variety to further distance the group from their competition, but as the epic seven-minute closer “So Below” proves, the band is full of the desire and innovation necessary to push the boundaries of their genre.
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