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Graveland - Epilogue/In the Glare of Burning Churches
Review: A very early slice of Graveland is seen here after the widespread confusion over these demos caused the band to relent and put out their second compilation of early recordings, showing the band in 1993 at a primitive state of fusion between hardcore and epic Hammerheart-style melodic but blasting black metal. Similarly vocals emulate the Bathory style in that era, as do patterns of cadence emerging in riff and muscular strumming that is strangely precise for a band this early in its growth, but the first four tracks on this release are unusually feral yet ambitiously majestic in their capture of atmosphere and mood. Drumming is a digital unit but the main attraction is narration and depth in guitars. The technique later to emerge in full usage of harmonizing notes to indicate an internal secondary direction in dissonance is here nascent and powerful, yet understated. These are insights to the working of a great mind.
The remaining half of this album is an alternate version of the "In the Glare of Burning Churches" using a drum machine for some parts of the drumkit, and does not vary a great deal from the other release by this name. To the credit of those who decided to release this session, vocal performance here is at its most hideously distorted and savage, with acidic negative ramifications leaking throughout the areas of implication the tone, texture and shape of lyrical phrasing in hoarse howl touch. The slow assembly of Discharge-styled melodic hardcore into the laconic and dreamlike waltzes of grandeur which were to follow is observable here, giving both sides a fair due in the revelations of ancestry to the majestic black metal to follow. The dual states of the intro and keyboard work on "Through the occult Veil" indicate the talent for ambient music working alongside terrifyingly accurate metal minds.