By many accounts, Early Graves' Makh Daniels was a passionate, kind man, as well as a ferocious vocalist who lived for the road. That he died in a van accident a little more than two years ago while on tour with The Funeral Pyre is just a reminder that sometimes the best die young. But to live as exuberantly as the departed did is a powerful tribute, and the members of the metal band Early Graves have continued on with Funeral Pyre vocalist John Strachan stepping in for Daniels on tour — and, now, on its third album, Red Horse. According to Strachan, "Pure Hell" is "a song dedicated to Makh. He always had that pure hell back patch. So I wrote this for him and the way he lived."
Like much of Red Horse, "Pure Hell" swarms with exuberant rage. The chaotic chord voicings on the band's second record, Goner, have given way to riffs more straightforward and especially catchy, but no less destructive. This is the kind of metal band that ignores multi-prefix genre tags, rips a terse guitar solo that deconstructs itself like "Paranoid Android" on an all-night bender, and then finds its steel-toed boot in someone's face.
Red Horse is out Oct. 30 on No Sleep Records.