To simply judge Graveyard Rockstars on their looks would probably mean that you would expect some heavy industrial sounds, with distorted vocals running in the vein of Manson. But, actually listen to Graveyard Rockstars, and you get something else entirely.
The debut album Doomsday only touches on industrial sounds. They are there in the mix, but not overwhelming or ostentatious. Graveyard Rockstars are little bit of a paradox. To look at them would create expectations of a sound akin to most goth metal albums out there, but that is not what you get. Sure, they look the part. Face-paint and Halloween paraphernalia. And the lyrics are of course dripping with horror and goth charm, but Doomsday is more on the side of alternative goth metal, and that’s what makes this debut so appealing.
Graveyard Rockstars cemented themselves with their live act this year – earning support spots for Misfits and Sepultura – and with Doomsday now released on to the world, they can be sure to snag plenty more fans. Goth metal can often cause an eye roll or two. Can be a little too on the nose. The lyrics a little too contrived. The music trying way too hard to be dark and atmospheric. Thankfully, this is not the case with Graveyard Rockstars. The final notes of album closer “The Sickness” are probably the most atmospheric on the record, and the one time it seems to wade through the waters of goth metal expectations.
The rhythm section of Leeno Dee (bass) and Zotty Shudder (drums) creates a slick groove, while the guitar work of Brendan Synnz and M.Ripper is intricate, heavy and yet somehow light, airy almost, in the way that it seems to lift the songs, and the vocals of Ash Rothschild aren’t hidden behind copious effects; they are raw, forceful and at the same time accessible.
Accessible sums up Doomsday pretty well. It’s a goth album, but a goth album for everyone. Whether or not goth metal is a staple of your music collection, you are likely to find something to like about Doomsday. It’s heavy, full of groove, catchy and melodic. Doomsday has a clear, raw sound of an album not over produced; a nice change from the industrialised, electronic sounds flooding the market. It’s not your average goth metal album. It’s better. It’s not trying to be something it’s not. Graveyard Rockstars simply are who they are. And it seems pretty clear with this debut, that nothing is going to stand in their way.