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Griffin - Lifeforce (CD)

by Grigoris Chronis at 22 September 2005, 9:10 AM

I see it this way: even if the 'True Metal' wave has not yet ran out of guilt, there are still bands 'diving' into the very depths of the Heavy Metal ocean. Griffin and Lifeforce generated unique feelings inside me - not, of course, because of their originality but because of their dedication to the basic principles our favorite music gave the world 20-30 years ago. And this - in a European Heavy Metal scene that is 70% based on (among others) Helloween's inheritance - is truly admirable.
Griffin's fourth studio effort comes two years after their notable No Holds Barred (2003, co-produced by Alexi Laiho of Children Of Bodom/Sinergy). With their true faith in the 'classic' Heavy Metal songwriting, this Norwegian act succeeded in raising their fame to an interesting level, even if their two first albums - Serenades (2000) and The Sideshow (2002) - didn't achieve that much (maybe because of the Season Of Mist label's general taste?). Seven years around and it seems that Lifeforce takes no prisoners.
If you have a sharp eye you can get suspicious from the very beginning: eleven songs in less than 37 minutes was the ideal duration for a vinyl LP back in the early 80's (hey, why don't you cut this one into vinyl)? Continuing - however - in terms of music, I was impressed by the way Pete Beck uses his voice in this album. Melody in harmony with furious rage, passion and straightforwardness, high-level trust and I think he's one of the strong 'cards' of Griffin. To proceed: nice guitar work from the Silver/Nergaard duet, with many references to the classic Thin Lizzy playing mode - the band's spirit is apparent in the album - while the Karlsen/Wanberg rhythm section stands on solid ground with no 'blah blah' luxuries. That's the point, though.
Be it mid-tempo, up-tempo or 'running'-tempo, songs like Premonition, Dungeon, Moment Of Madness or Recipe For Rage will surely apply for fans with the likes of bands like Iron Maiden (era '82 - '85), Thin Lizzy (as mentioned above), 80's Sinner (maybe Beck's voice?) and a dozen of 'obscure' 80's bands I don't think there's any need to write about. Supported by an appropriate 'retro' production by Andy LaRocque (where's this guy been?), I think that…
…Lifeforce stands tall for all those who like their Metal rather archetypal. If 75% of your vinyl collection features bands from the years 1978 - 1985, this album's for you! Griffin 'won' another fan and I'll be happy to hear that this album scored good sales, meaning there's still interest for the kind of melody songs like e.g. the same titled track provides. Thumbs up!
(Note: Massacre Records is releasing Lifeforce in Europe. This version will have the Unforgiven bonus track featuring Andy LaRocque on lead guitars)

3 Star Rating

Recipe For Rage
Moment Of Madness
Building A Future
Bound In Re-runs
Unforgiven (Bonus Track)
Marius Karlsen - Drums
Marcus Silver - Guitar
Pete Beck - Vocals & Percussion
Kai Nergaard - Guitar
Johnny Wanberg - Bass
Record Label: Facefront / Massacre


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