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Griftegard - Solemn, Sacred, Severe (CD)

Solemn, Sacred, Severe
by Yiannis Doukas at 10 December 2009, 9:14 PM

This is the debut album from a Swedish Doom Metal band coming from Van Records. Their name comes from their native language meaning something like burial or the ground around a cemetery. This five-piece band wants to put their listeners into a religious thinking trip and its meaning or real value for our existence.
Born in early 2005 GRIFTEGARD released their debut song via Metal Coven's Knock 'Em Down To Size 7 together with SOLSTICE, REVEREND BIZARRE and SPIRITUS MORTIS among others. Their track was Pagan Altar Cometh, which you can listen to in their MySpace page (although not exactly representative of what would follow). In mid-2007 their only demo was unleashed named Psalm Bok, including two songs among them the first one here, Charles Taze Russell; it also appeared as a re-release with new artwork by Van Records.
Solemn, Sacred, Severe contains good Doom music following the paths of bands like REVEREND BIZARRE, an influence that is clear enough in their Punishment & Ordeal song. This one and the first one can be considered as the album's highlight with their ceremonial aesthetics, the very good vocals and the characteristic guitar riffs. The band plants a veil of spiritualism and isolation around the listener escaping the trite melancholy and depression feel that many bands of the genre want to show. They seem like a mental struggle with the different and most times conflicting religion philosophies. That is also clear in the nice lyrics of Charles Taze Russell. Who this man was, you can find easily with today's technology although in my opinion his thoughts do not differ a lot from the spiritual 'masturbation' that took place in the Byzantine Empire when all the priests spent their time wandering on how Christ was born and if his mother was a virgin or not. Anyway, here is somehow different and you can read some nice written lyrics based upon Biblical themes.
The rest of the songs are cool but cannot stand with the first two. Exception is the weird and atmospheric Noah's Hands that in its creation the band received a helping hand by Peter Andersson, the man behind RAISON D'ETRE and its eerie presence can be noticed in the very beginning of this track.
GRIFTEGARD are a promising band with a debut album worth hearing and very deep emotion vocals that give a lot to the whole music. Touring right now together with their label mates THE DEVIL'S BLOOD is a good opportunity to see them and probably in the future we will hear better things.

3 Star Rating

Charles Taze Russell
Punishment & Ordeal
I Refuse These Ashes
Noah's Hands
The Mire
Drunk With Wormwood
Thomas Eriksson - Vocals
Ola Blomkvist - Guitars
Per Broddesson - Guitars
Thomas Jansson - Bass
Jens Gustafsson - Drums
Record Label: Van Records


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