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Graveland - Raise Your Sword!
Review: With an EP of two new songs and a Polish version of a reworked older tune, Graveland move forward in the epic soundtrack of longer melodies style that has become a dominant influence from Lord Wind, but do so in the freely flowing and potently simple melodies which exhalted "Thousand Swords" to its revered status. Of coalescing scenery which subtly becomes evident within the swarming sounds of keyboards, guitar fuzz and vocals in interwoven liquid state, this band mould adventures in which feral battlelust alone determines who survives.
Gullwinged note progressions liltingly drift above precise and unobtrusive percussion while keyboards surround from below and inundate as guitar, in a upsweep of refined black metal heritage, invokes a new note cluster to change tonal center and mood. The strength of this band in making four-note melodies and their complementary halves, as applied to songs that alternatingly rip and waltz, sustains the resonant qualities of sound manipulated in each piece. While bass and guitar have the shelf-ready composure and precision that marks "Creed of Iron," careful use of dissonant chord voicing and strumming technique thrusts listener expectation toward a longer frame of reference.
Hypnotic in pulsating transitions of tone the dominant themes expressed throughout this work emphasize motion and harmonies in unbalanced and unsymmetrical, unpeaceful figures. Motifs work within a cluster of concepts making each song distinct and Graveland ensure that at least two highly memorable riff constructions unite individual works. A studied creation of melody renders multiple directions in potential within a simple circular interruption of symmetry, allowing tendrils of awareness to drift in other directions which then must return to the central theme or dominate it.
In the same way that "Thousand Swords" levelled audiences with its assertive embrace of medieval ethos in music, the newer material from Graveland overcomes the tendency toward consistency that form-stamped "Creed of Iron" and gestures a future direction for this band. The reworked older song accrues more grace of presentation and an added ferocity in Polish, yet this EP can grasp the intuitive unconscious mind of a listener within the first two tracks and leave them with a sense of loss when it ends.