Graf Orlock - Destination Time Tomorrow (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Graf Orlock

Destination Time Tomorrow (2007)

Level Plane / Vendetta

I'm a pretty vocal opponent of the complete digitization of music, and a fan of interesting artwork and packaging. I must admit, though, that rarely do I come across artwork or packaging that really surprises and engages me to the degree that I would like. Graf Orlock's EP, Destination Time Tomorrow, would seem to be a direct answer to my search. The art of the disc features the back of a human head and in place of a regular jewel case the tray is a facehugger alien from the Alien movie franchise. Seriously.

Graf Orlock play a brand of grindcore where the lyrics are excerpts of film dialogue, in this case action and sci-fi movies. Take for instance "Game Time," which I believe takes cues from "Aliens": "I want you to lay down a suppressing fire with incinerators, and fall back by squads to the apc over?." While certainly not the first band to bring such cinematic elements to their craft, Graf Orlock succeeds due to their sheer dedication to the subject matter. The quotes they use aren't simply randomly strung together, either -- there is a flowing narrative style to them. Some may see this as pure gimmick, but it does present valid artistic challenges for the band and since they seem to have a healthy sense of humour, the over-the-top sentiment in their themes could be viewed as a satirical look at the culture violence we live in today.

While Graf Orlock are arguably a grind band, they have enough influence of straight-up hardcore and metal that their riffs last long enough for the average listener to grab ahold of something. Regardless of how you view the lyrical content, the musical accompaniment with its hectic chord progressions and alternating shrill screams and gruff yelling provides an essential atmosphere for the battle-torn scenes. The band even throws up an unexpected pleasant surprise in the closing joint, "The Dream Left Behind," where the closing portion of the song turns into an interpolation of the theme from "Jurassic Park."

Destination Time Tomorrow is an interesting take on grind and its affiliated genres and it's impressive if a bit impractical packaging-wise and is sure to take a unique place in anyone's collection.