Just that first crashing, resonant, keening, banshee-like guitar note is all it takes to set the scene. Well, that and perhaps the ominous title. Taken together, it is no surprise that Strangely Alright then heads down a dark and delicious pathway filled with odd atmospheres and anxious anticipation, perfect as we head into Halloween, the territory of sonic tricks and musical treats, which this track undoubtedly is.
The Grave is a song that creeps and crawls as much as it grooves and grinds, seeming to lead the listener in a slow and relentless walk down a series of cold, spiral stairs towards the inevitable. Each beat a footstep. Each footstep brings you closer to…well, we can only guess! But you go willingly, entranced by the dark ritual of the music, a blend of black psychedelia and high gothic drama.
In the past, people working in such territory have been persuaded to lean towards the kitsch and the slightly silly, but in the hands of Strangely Alright, the medium takes on a more palatable, more truly exciting demeanour. Far from the realms of B-movie schtick and Hammer House of mock Horror, The Grave is genuinely dark, (un)deadly serious and gothic in the truest sense of the word. It’s the soundtrack to the likes of Poe, Lovecraft and Machen, a sonic representation of the madness and malevolence that underlies their most significant work.
Guitars slither and slide like cold serpents, drums beat out a funeral march, the bass pulses with primal power and the vocals call from somewhere beyond. Somewhere beyond The Grave!