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Graveland - Carpathian Wolves
Review: Immense, aspirant, romantic music that flows after melodies and allows itself like a drunken reveler to fade slowly into beautiful hazy afterglow; it is pleased with its own incoherence, and where many albums focus on anger instead points toward a mystical existence of the obscure with its own ambiguity. Basic composition defines this obscurity by creating a few riffs which drift through tones to produce a looping effect, but more by relying on long-phrase melodies to create the structure behind the messy and eclectic riffs.
Guitars are power chords cruising in a fuzz of smoky static, distortion breaking apart slowly as the soundwaves fall, and are the primary instrument of melody, spelling out in simple notes and chords the passage of harmonic development. Behind them somewhere a rumbling bass, also lost in the raging uncertainty, over marching drums which double beats under the emphasis to create an urgent tempo somewhere between unarmed combat and a graceful, euphonic, unraveling waltz...
With simple but mutating melodies Graveland can exist without ever anchoring themselves to a riff; percussion and melody carry the songs along with so much familiarity that distinctive looping patterns are disadvantageous and riff fragments, leading pieces of scales, interludes of harmonic recursion, and melodic bridging in the style of Emperor work fluently to make each song continuous. Simplicity in guitar playing is exciting here for its innovation; few black metal bands successfully build songs like this.
Distinctive forest beats derive from hardcore rally undulations (pit-speak for the linear repetition of double beats) and the more energetic and throbbing mystical beats from Immortal and Burzum usage building momentum toward a conceptual space of infinite potential. Insane vocals from a distance are overdriven into the striated surge of harmonic noise, chanting each song to conclusion or carrying the texture of the winter wind into a chorus. For its faults and strengths this release as others from this band reveal a distinctive stylistic and ideological persona developing as an idea revealing here its essential passions and tensions in the endless conflict of musical creation.