Music Review – Bleak

Artist: Bleak
Album: Dig Two Graves

Last Halloween we had a lot more to look forward to then a bowl of candy. In a surprise move, Bleak released their new album Dig Two Graves. This is the first we had heard from them in five years but it was well worth the wait. The timing was perfect, as this album bleeds Halloween and gives us a journey to go on while waiting for kids to come to your door.

Bleak is a death blues band based out of Tottenham, North London. Rachel Woodworth, Yvonne Okoduwa, and “Howlin?” Anton make up the band, but on this album they have added AP Clarke for the live guitar sections. Not to be confused with Universal Music’s Bleak that hails from Syracuse, Bleak, the death blues band from London, had a lot to live up to coming off of their debut album, For The Good Of The Nation, and they did not disappoint. I don’t usually find it necessary to listen to an album from start to finish, but with Dig Two Graves it only adds to the enjoyment.

Howlin? Anton lives up to his name in “30% Wolf”, as a wolf in human skin, howling out this coarse opener. Taking a step forward into the spot light, bassist Rachel Woodworth gifts us with her haunting voice that only adds to the Halloween spirit in “Ebb & Flow.” Rachel isn’t the only one to get a moment in the spotlight, Yvonne also steps out from behind the drums and entertains us with an impassioned performance of “Bones.”

My own personal favourite on this album is “Three Days of Hell”. A gospel choir is sprinkled throughout this song, which makes you feel like you are listening in the graveyard on the album cover. Following suit, “Babe” is a soulful ballad that you can picture them singing in a darkly lit bar, with smoke hanging in the room. But, not all songs on this album are ballads. The song the album is named after, “Dig Two Graves” is a heated song all about telling someone to go to hell, which could not be more appropriate for the album’s feel. “The Longest Night” ends the album with another sample of Rachel’s stellar vocals. The album feels like if Skip James wrote for Ozzy Osbourne.

Labelled as death blues, these edgy Europeans know how to put on a show. Rarely do they play live shows, but when they do the energy is electric. I urge you to go to their YouTube channel so you can share in that energy. This album was released on Halloween, 31 October 2016, on Screamlite Records and while it was available exclusively on Bandcamp until November 28th, it is now available at all major digital stores. I strongly recommend picking up this album to play while handing out candy and terrorizing the children.

Drew Kolohon is an avid music fan who is finishing up his bachelors degree in English.

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