We Review The New Album From Unwanted Guest – Grave Metallum

Seventh Son’s Dave Fox marches confidently following 2021’s self-titled EP of last to bring a collection of songs of the hard-rock variety on his debut album, Grave Metallum.

The solo project, Unwanted Guest was started during 2020’s lockdown during a break from live performing. Fox wrote and produced the album himself as well as playing every instrument.

It’s a hardworking hard-rock entourage with influences of the 90s, especially Alice In Chains with dashing of speed-metal and modern rock with fat chords and sweeping solos.

Wearing his influences on his sleeve doesn’t quite work with this genre as a lot of moments on the record feel like impersonation rather than influence. Granted the lyrics are truly that of Fox or the features from Barnsley poet, Jo Fearon but instrumentally it does sound copy and paste, especially the grunge numbers.

At the same time instrumentally, each instrument is well complimented by Fox’s playing styles whether that be the drums, guitars, or bass, each instrument is delivered in a fiery manner. This is a very guitar-focused record but nothing feels ignored and shows Fox’s strengths as a capable musician.

The title track begins very tongue-in-cheek with TV and radio announcements over the lsat 70 years of huge musician deaths. The focus of the song, however, is that rock isn’t dead with lots of rock music references. It’s certainly an exception to the album where Fox’s vocals don’t sound like they’re from North America.

The chorus at the same time says there’s no one left to play so is rock dead or not? Out of nowhere, the track descends into a circus-esc sound which references the circus subject earlier in the track. The circus is the Grave Metallum itself where all rockstars go. It does feel a bit cheesy as a transition but at least it stands out as trying something different on the record.

All of the tracks on last year’s EP make it onto the album including the band name track which is full of raucous riffs and chunky distortion. The earlier tracks have all slotted nicely into place as the album blends different genres together.

As we reach the closing tracks of the album the beat and vocals are of a similar fashion, but if you love your rock hard and crunchy like cereal without the milk then Unwanted Guest is perfect for you. If you like rock that’s aged but still tweaked then this album is for you.

The vocals despite sounding of the American range, are expertly delivered with soaring notes that reminisce 80s hair metal and has to be Fox’s most dynamic sound on the record. Accompanying this is the production quality of the record that feels like you could pick up Unwanted Guest and place him anywhere within the last 35 years. If it had been released in 1992 it would have been huge, but in 2022 it lacks anything new for this reviewer.