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Griffin - The Ultimate Demise (CD)

Griffin
The Ultimate Demise
by Grigoris Chronis at 14 April 2007, 10:47 AM

It is a usual case in (today's) metal scene for bands to start off rather uncompromisingly, then - gradually - to guide themselves to more 'mature' (or soft) sounds. Thanks (the) God (of Metal), Norwegian warriors GRIFFIN did never show such an intension in their 7-years career so far. And, furthermore, this is not going to happen with the band's latest creation, The Ultimate Demise. Well, 'demise' is certainly not the case for GRIFFIN in year 2007!
(…what a nice promo album 'dressing', by the way…)
2005's Lifeforce was a very good Heavy Metal album. Yeap, 'classic' Heavy Metal all the way. Still, it seems the band - formed in 1998 in Norway - does not loosen up its fury all these years. And, this year's The Ultimate Demise seems not of an unnatural selection for metalheads who like to dig deep in the Metal principals, always - on the other hand - bearing in mind the era we all live in nowadays. There's been a huge lineup tornado in the band's ranks: Vocalist Peter Berk and axeman Marcus Silver decided to depart from GRIFFIN - Marius Karlsen (drums) was soon to follow - and, as known, such major changes inevitably lead to a relative scope in creating music. Rolf Bakken, Roar Naustvoll and Alessandro Elide stepped in and a 60% of 'new' GRIFFIN started working hard on new material.
And this work is actually shown in The Ultimate Demise, I must confess. The fury, the metallic orgy and the screams of anger are more than obvious herein. All songs bear kick-ass guitar work (both in rhythm and lead parts) and it's of real interest to state that Naustvoll is only 18 years old. Still, his chemistry with Nergaard is deep honest and dynamic, providing the listener with nothing less than exciting guitar instrumentation. Imaginery solos, excellent leads/dual harmonies and - based on some 'retro' Metal production - raw chords will blow your speakers. Added, the vocals of Bakken - not that similar to his predecessor's - can be described via only one word: trustworthy. The guy is a demon on the loose, a mature singer and an exiled prowler all at the same time. Watch (or listen to?) his madness during Pretty Hate Machine, travel to his tranquility in the most weird GRIFFIN track ever, Crown Of Thorns and share his metallic heart in Legends Live Forever. Add some maniac rhythm section appearence and you got the whole idea…
The production - to mention - is handled by none other than Andy LaRoqcue (KING DIAMOND) again. And - the winning point is - he does not provide (again) the band with what he is playing but, mainly, with what the band shows capable of doing. Meaning: 80s Metal full madness.  Hence, The Ultimate Demise stands proud in being fast, straightforward and 100% 'metal'.
Demise? What demise? This is the nicest GRIFFIN album to-date! You like European Heavy Metal music? (No Power, no Epic, no Symphonic)? Grab it by the teeth!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Intro
The Ultimate Demise
Down on You
Legends Live Forever
Crown of Thorns
Losing Control
Angel
Pretty Hate Machine
Restless Dreams
Ain't Hard to Die
Here Comes the Pain
Outro
Lineup:
Rolf Bakken - Vocals
Roar Naustvoll - Guitars
Kai Nergaard - Guitars
Johnny Wangberg - Bass
Alessandro Elide - Drums
Record Label: Burning Star Records
     


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