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Review: Griffar - Monastery

Label: Non Serviam Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 52:45
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: January 8, 2012
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating

Rated 4/5 (80%) (14 Votes)

Griffar are a Parisian band who opt for something more devastating than the usual Post-Rock inspired playground frequented so often by French artists of this nature. Heavily laced with Death Metal pacing and early US Thrash, Monastery, the band's long awaited sophomore effort, throws its weight at the listener with an attack that follows the ferocity of latter day Immortal while channeling its inner Slayer. There are more nods here to South Of Heaven and Hell Awaits than Sons Of Northern Darkness, though those albums are a good indication of the carnage on offer; just throw in a couple of Dissection numbers and the latest from Byfrost and you have it.

Featuring ex-members of Loudblast and Enthroned, there's no scarcity of professionalism, but as the record is a constant barrage of riffs and skin-peeling vocals, things do get a little familiar. Eight minute opener "Blessed In Lava" is the supreme highlight, featuring a varied percussion palette and mid-paced riffwork that will crush you under its heel. "Relentless Infamy" lives up to its name, while "Rebirth" is a melodic firestorm reminiscent of Taake, denying the band's French roots. The power conjured by this three-piece is truly immense, and despite a lack of overall variation in places, Monastery remains a surprisingly commercial endeavor.

Other related information on the site
Review: Monastery (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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