To The Grave – Director’s Cuts (Album Review)

To The Grave Director's Cuts

To The Grave – Director’s Cuts
Released: February 24th, 2023


Dane Evans // Vocals
Matt Clarke // Bass/Backing Vocals
Luke Ringin // Guitar/Backing Vocals
Jack Simioni // Guitar
Simon O’Malley // Drums



For well over a decade now, this Sydney-based deathcore group have been perfecting their craft of songwriting and performing while raising awareness surrounding animal rights issues and strongly advocating for veganism. Following the success of their 2019 album Global Warning, To The Grave had rightfully earnt themselves spots on festival line-ups including Knight and DayCVLTFEST, and the latest edition of Good Things, as well as tours throughout UK/Europe and North America. The quintet have created high expectations for everyone who anticipates their next move. So let’s suss out what they have…

‘Warning Shot’ kicks the album off just as I expected, with low-tuned, beefy guitars and the ever-so-talented Dane Evans carving through the track with his wide range of high, mid and low range vocals. I have had the thought that Evans is one of Australia’s finest deathcore vocalists and only one song into this album, that thought has been cemented into a firm belief. The first single to be released, ‘Red Dot Sight’ has clear hardcore influences, while still managing to stay true to their deathcore roots. This appears to be the first time this group has gone in that direction with a song and it works faultlessly. The song is also inclusive of a revving chain saw in the opening verse, which goes hand in hand with the song’s true meaning of murder. It sticks to the band’s usual method of balls to the wall heavy while also introducing a melodic element, which flows nicely and creates an extremely enjoyable listening experience.

We are then met with ‘B.D.T.S’, which begins with eerily sounding vocals that slowly build up until we reach an explosive introduction. Evans spits poison into the mic with a voice that is fueled by anger. As Evans continues to show off his vocal range, the heavy instrumentals build up, following his lead until we are led to the breakdown by low-tuned, chuggy guitars and a vocalist who seems to be singing so quickly it is questionable as to whether he is even breathing. This is a powerful, emotionally charged track. Thumping instrumentals take us into ‘Protest and Sever‘. Detailed and layered guitar riffs on top of Simon O’Malley‘s high-intensity blast beats keep the tempo high as this track manages to thoroughly stimulate my senses. Antagonist A.D. vocalist Sam Crocker steps in for guest vocalist duties. When I first discovered that Crocker would feature on this album, I was hesitant to believe that his vocals would work well with the music from a heavy deathcore band such as To The Grave, however, as Crocker yells the lyrics “So bite the hand that feeds” throughout the breakdown, my mind is put to ease. His addition to this track is outstanding. Topping off this already perfect offering is an intricate guitar solo that goes above and beyond any and all expectations that I had before pressing play.

As I approach the halfway point in this album, I have to take a few minutes to wrap my mind around what I had just immersed myself in, this album is turning out to be one hell of a ride. I manage to pull myself together and get stuck into ‘Manhunt’, which picks up where the previous track left off. Brutally heavy guitars follow O’Malley’s lead as his impressively fast drumming sets the pace. The breakdown towards the track’s outro is a highlight of the release; it’s slow and heavy, making it perfect music to mosh too. The impressive offering is brought to completion by yet another incredible guitar solo. A spine-chilling poem being read by a monotone, emotionless voice is what starts off ‘Found Footage’On top of chugging guitars, Evans displays his high-range vocals in a rapping style. He screams so quickly that it’s incredibly difficult to make sense of what he is saying, which isn’t a complaint, the vocal style is impressive in every right. A purely instrumental breakdown is what takes this banger to completion.

Already released single ‘Axe of Kindness’ begins by melodically kicking my arse. Much like ‘Red Dot Sight’, this one takes some influence from hardcore styles while continuing to stay true to their deathcore roots. Beefy guitars invite me to mosh, even though I am sitting at my office desk, I just can’t resist the temptation. The song concludes with some ever-so-nasty, yet delightful pig squeals. ‘Reversing The Bear Trap’ instantly hits like a punch to the nose. O’Malley impresses me once again with his impressive skills, blast beats and fast-paced drum fills that make space for the guitars to do their magic. This is a song I have been excited to check out for a while, and not just because of the interesting song name, but because it features guest vocalist Jess Christiansen of Bled Out. Her vocal style matches the calibre of Evans perfectly and the two vocalists share vocal duties which is a dynamic that leaves quite a good lasting impression on me.

The latest single to be released, ‘Cut Off The Head’ takes the group’s melodic styles to the next level. Substantial guitar thumps throughout the verses, followed by a melodic chorus creating nothing short of a delightful listening experience. The band’s nu influences also manage to shine through on this, which adds yet another powerful dynamic to an already strong song. Finishing off the album is ‘Die, Rise’ which is the longest track on the record, standing at eight and a half minutes long. It is inclusive of all the dynamics we have already heard from this band throughout this album, including a lengthy guitar solo!

I have said it before in previous articles, and I will say it again, To The Grave are the future of Australian deathcore. Director’s Cuts is flawless. I have tried incredibly hard to find faults on this album, but it has been virtually impossible. Take a seat and strap in because To The Grave are about to blow up.

To The Grave Director's Cuts

To The Grave – Director’s Cuts tracklisting:

1. Warning Shot
2. Red Dot Sight
3. Full Sequence
4. B.D.T.S.
5. Protest & Sever feat. Samuel Crocker of Antagonist A.D.
6. Manhunt
7. Found Footage
8. Axe of Kindness
9. Reversing the Bear Trap feat. Jess Christiansen of Bled Out
10. Cut off the Head
11. Die, Rise

Rating: 10/10
Director’s Cuts is out this Friday. Pre-Order here
Review by Adam Rice

About Adam 'Ricey' Rice (117 Articles)
A young music enthusiast who dives into a world created by an artist then returns to reality to express what he experienced in writing.