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Grafvitnir – NâHásh

by Gary Hernandez at 01 March 2020, 12:40 PM

GRAFVITNIR is a Black Metal band hailing from Stockholm, Sweden. They formed as early as 2007 and have released six full-length albums and one demo since that time. On February 14, 2020 they reissued their debut album, “NâHásh.” This remastered take is exceptional on a number of levels. First, this is some premium cold Black Metal which holds up today as well as it did in 2012. Second, the updated production renders a clear and crisp recording which is a rarity in Black Metal. Third, the vocals are evil incarnate but somehow decipherable . . . . except for “Vilddjurets återkomst” (trans: return of the beast) which is delivered in Swedish, so for me sounds like that one Muppet, but way evil.

The band has been quoted in a 2015 interview with Winter Torment Webzine as saying the word “Grafvitnir” comes from the Old Norse Edda. “Grafvitnir is the name of one of the countless snakes that resides below the world tree Yggdrasil and gnaws at its roots. The name itself may possibly have the meaning Grave Wolf.” As far as the album name, “nahash” means serpent in Hebrew . . . conspicuous linkage there. One listen to this album and it’s easy to imagine the impact it may have had on the scene in 2012. A lot of what seems common, though excellently executed, on the album, was anything but common in 2012: The acrid vocals, the unrelenting but controlled blast beats, the hypnotic lead guitar solos and melodic riffs, the bass lines that plumb the depths of the abyss (again typically washed out in so many Black Metal recordings).

My favorites tracks are “Shadowed Portal (to the Left Light),” “Luciferian Flame” and “Beyond the Black Veil of Da’ath.” Part of the equation that makes these tracks exceptional is the length of time the band spends on them — 9:00, 10:18, and 10:11, respectively. This affords the sonic space for multiple progressions which build and deconstruct the lyrical movements. With that said, I also like that that they took time to craft an intro, “Summoning of the Serpent,” which, short as it is, kicks off the narrative arc and cinches the link to the album title. Right from the outset you understand that this isn’t going to be 47 minutes of thoughtless hellscape, but rather a carefully developed invocation . . . of thought, of terror, of darksome delights. Not all albums bear repeating. “NâHásh” is an exception. If you missed it in 2012, here’s your second chance . . . enjoy.

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


3 Star Rating

1. Summoning of the Serpent
2. Shadowed Portal to the Left Light
3. Vilddjurets återkomst
4. Luciferian Flame
5. Beyond the Black Veil of Da'at
6. Sphere of the Acausal
7. Vastness of Death
Niantiel – Unknown
Tishin – Unknown
Modrius – Unknown
Record Label: Clavis Secretorvm


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Edited 06 December 2022

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