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Grabunhold – Heldentod

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 March 2021, 2:12 PM

Formed in 2016, and hailing from Germany, GRABUNHOLD is a Black Metal band, who present their debut album here, which contains eight tracks. “Wolkenbruch über Amon Sul” is the opening song. It’s a nine-minute beast, beginning with thunder, light rain, and clean, melancholy guitar notes. You are unprepared for the coming chaos…deep, dark sounds, rolling drums and vocal screams. Some clean vocals mix in at one point. Following a slower passage, it rolls to completion with a scream.

“Hügelgräberhöhen” is a short, three-minute song that opens with nefarious sounds along with some whispers. The main riff drops, and it’s slow and stalwart at first, but opens up with screams that echo inside your head, slowly driving you mad. “Trommeln in der Tiefe” begins with what sounds like simulated oboe notes, with spoken words in German. The mood is sad. It remains this way throughout the song, picking up a couple more instruments along the way, with the slow, steady thud of tom drums. “Flammen und Schatten” has some get-up-and-go from the opening notes. The pace is hastened and those lead notes around the half-way mark really give the song a kick.

“Morgenröte am Pelennor” is close to eight-minutes in length, beginning with more of those melancholy clean guitars. When the main riff drops, the darkness remains. The clean vocal “oohs” are a nice touch. It returns to the thick Black Metal sound, then more of the “oohs,” then clean guitars take it to completion. “Fangorns Erwachen” is a fast and quick three-minute blast of guitars, drums and screams. Towards the end, it slows, with a fantastic drum outro. “In tiefen Verliesen” features a pretty traditional Black Metal sound, with a fairly hasty pace and a wall of guitar notes in your face. It’s dark, bitter and nasty,

“Der Einsamkeit letzter Streiter” closes the album, at just under nine-minutes in length. You can hear heavy footsteps walking through a forest, with the pecking of a woodpecker, then the sound of a sword being unsheathed. It rolls forward from there, with the steady gallop of drums and guitars. Towards the end, lead guitar notes and some light chanting take the album to its end. Overall, I found the album to contain mostly the traditions of the FWOBM, but it also had some experimental elements…at least enough to keep the listener entertained. Today, Black Metal can be either very diverse or very homogenous, to the point of ad nauseum. Too many bands insist on holding onto the past. This album was somewhere in between these two polarizations for me.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Wolkenbruch über Amon Sul
2. Hügelgräberhöhen
3. Trommeln in der Tiefe
4. Flammen und Schatten
5. Morgenröte am Pelennor
6. Fangorns Erwachen
7. In tiefen Verliesen
8. Der Einsamkeit letzter Streiter
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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