|Review: Graveland - The Fire of Awakening|
|The Fire of Awakening|
Label: No Colours Records
Year released: 2003
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: December 19, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:The Fire of Awakening
Rated 4/5 (80%) (26 Votes)
Sounds Like: The Marchers of Valhalla coming to Blood Eagle your candy ass.
Well I had a frustrating experience trying to review this on The Metal Observer, where they wouldn't even let me list this album on my top 20 for 2003, let alone review it. Ah well, I shall vent my spleen here, and reassure the world that Graveland are indeed a very cool band, and that this is a great album.
Musically this is very interesting, as Graveland are basically a Black Metal band, but with a distinct and unique approach unlike anyone else. All five of these songs are very long, like around the ten-minute mark, and slow or at a steady armies-marching-to-battle midpace. You would think that would be boring, but Graveland are without exception not only interesting, but genuinely stirring. With their monstrous riffing, medieval keyboards and Darken's growly vocals, Graveland manage to sound like no other band on earth, and even if I had only heard them once I would know them in a second. Their compositions go way beyond epic, these songs are huge odysseys through pounding riffs and haunting choirs of voices. Simply amazing stuff.
It is lyrically, however, that Graveland really shine. And I have to urge you to check out their lyrics even if you will never buy a Graveland album. This is powerful, uncompromising stuff that old Robert E Howard would have loved. Darken is obviously very into war and bloodshed and all that good stuff, and his bloodsoaked odes to battle and hatred make guys like Amon Amarth look like complete pussies. The most controversial aspect of Graveland, their racist/right wing perspective, is not really very blatant in their lyrical content, and you have to know what you are looking at. In other words, if you don't get the reference of the title of track five, you won't find anything here that will offend you, as you simply won't get the meaning.
I love Graveland, and not just because they're a great band, but because they really, really piss people off. You want to talk about guys who do what they want and damn the consequences, this is it right here. Graveland are as true as it is possible to get.
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