|Review: Graveland - The Fire of Awakening|
|The Fire of Awakening|
Label: No Colours Records
Year released: 2003
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: September 21, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:The Fire of Awakening
Yes, Graveland is back to terrorize the wimps. "The Fire of Awakening" sees Graveland sticking to the same basic formula, so do not expect a huge departure from their trademark sound (I haven't heard many bands that sound remotely like this..) Still, the music is not stagnating, this album sounding even more "medieval" than the band's previous offerings, with background choirs accentuating the already war-like sound of this majestic epic that'll make you feel like you have ancient warrior blood coursing through your veins. Just like many of Graveland's recent offerings, "The Fire of Awakening" could easily be seen as the apocalyptic soundtrack for a war movie of the ancient times (you know, looong before you could watch war on CNN while eating popcorn.) One can hardly be surprised by that fact, considering that mainman Darken often participates in live re-creations of ancient battles (hence the frequent pictures of him dressed as an ancient warrior.) The almost monotonous tone of the album wouldn't fit much musical output, but here the result is very solemn and very fitting to the subject at hand. The vocals stick to the low, raspy voice that Darken has been using for a while and expertly manage to get across without disturbing the flow of the music - kind of difficult to explain in words, so trust me. ;) This newest release fortifies Graveland's position as the best in the Pagan brand of Black Metal.
The booklet deserves some mention as well, an excellent job once again with the drawings very à propos, a piece of art in themselves.
I don't think Graveland will necessarily win many new fans with this album, but it might bring back a few of those who didn't like the last couple of albums. As for his detractors, even if he were to release an album of love songs, they'd still find something to whine about - nothing new there. :) Highly recommended.
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