“Grand Rites”

By Dr. Abner Mality

This was one of those albums I popped on with no expectations and absolutely no knowledge of what the band was. It turned out to be an interesting and ultimately rewarding experience.

I struggle to find an adequate way to describe Dead Quiet. I think dark hard rock with roots in the 70’s might be the best description, but they are not as in your face “retro” as many such bands. The 70’s influences are there, but not really obnoxious. There’s some old Sabbath, some old Purple, a bit of Captain Beyond and echoes of a lot of obscure acts. The songs are long but not excessively so, with nothing going over the 9 minute mark. There is something about Dead Quiet’s songcraft that just gets under your skin. Analog organ sounds ala Jon Lord are prominent, but never overwhelm the guitars. Maybe the best example of the Dead Quiet sound is “Corpse Revival”…the song’s dark and catchy riffing is infectious. “Fucking Oath” has a rather silly name, but the song itself is heavy and driving in the manner of the great 70’s proto-metal acts.

There’s also some low key blues and dark balladry to be found in “Disgraced” and “Dear Demon”. I do think that by the end of the album, things start to wear a little thin. I think a couple of short, fast rockers would have broken up the album nicely. But there is an intelligent approach to the music here lacking in many similar bands. If you like retro rock but are sick of the silly clichés associated with that, “Grand Rites” may be just what you’re looking for.