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Graveland - Memory & Destiny
Review: Crafting in the new style something reminiscent of older Graveland merged with more recent Lord Wind releases, this longstanding blackmetal outfit use the appearance of Creed of Iron - balanced guitars, home studio sequencing and keyboards, percussion that now does not sound backward to drummers - for an epic on the level of the works of Summoning or Burzum in its gently inductive melodic logic.
While it is easier listening because of the refined production and efficient songwriting, the raw spirit that made this music once violent now makes it contemplative, broadreaching and vastly perceptive of the sounds and patterns that stimulate the human spirit. Arcing melodies radiate above simple/rock metal drumbeats and keyboards shadow the fuzztone guitars, creating a sea of harmony into which the waves of sound return. Darken's vocals are subdued, announcing in a black metal voice the lyrics which hold place in each song, capturing some melody but mostly an abstract and distant rhythmic positioning.
Song structures are extensively customized variants of the theme/motif juggling common to classical-inspired soundtracks. While for much of the black metal crowd this may have drifted too far into the Summoning and Abigor school of slick melodic soundscapes, underneath its shiny exterior there is a ferality devoutly opposed to the valueless plastic of our time.