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Victor Griffin's In-Graved - Self-Titled

Victor Griffin's In-Graved
by Drago at 04 March 2013, 7:56 PM

On again off again guitarist Victor Griffin is once more out of the legendary PENTAGRAM. Recording renowned albums “Pentagram”, “Day of Reckoning” and 2011s comeback album “Last Rites”, Griffin is a large reason for the critical acclaim bestowed upon the band over the years. Griffin is back with his new band and has released their self-titled debut record through Finland’s Svart Records.

Picking up where PENTAGRAM left off with “Last Rites” we are drenched in doom tendencies. Simple down tuned crushing riffs, bluesy guitar leads and infectious vocals are in abundance. Griffin’s vocals are incredibly accessible and his melodies are a perfect blend of PENTAGRAM’s Bobby Liebling and Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy. Of course, riff wise we are in the court of riff god Tony Iommi. Slow crushing Doom riffs that will have your cranium exploding is executed brilliantly.

Album opener “Digital Critic” is perfect as it begins with a chuggy detuned riff and we are set on course for the journey we are about to take. Pulled right out of early SABBATH the guitars dominate and push the listener with an addictive tempo. Griffin’s vocals meld together perfectly with the music and the slight gruff added to his voice is dynamic.

The band shines the most when they up the tempo and Griffin embodies Phil Lynott, this is executed perfectly on “Late for an Early Grave” and album closer “Never Surrender.” On the former a simple riff is executed as vocals take center stage. An infectious melody kicks in and when the chorus hits, it is Doom Metal excellence. Everything that Griffin is trying to accomplish with his vision is achieved. It is so authentic that you feel like you are transported back in time to the 70s. The lead guitar is played fluently and Griffin really lets loose on what he does best. On “Never Surrender” I had to check to see if this was actually a Thin Lizzy cover it sounds so much like them. Another infectious chorus will be stuck in your head as the tempo is picked up a notch. More amazing guitar work accompanies catchy melodies as the album closes leaving the listener wanting more.

Doom legends TROUBLE's drummer Jeff Olson contributes but it is on Hammond organ and not drums. The organ is utilized but it is clearly for ambiance and not an upfront instrument. I would have liked to see him play drums, as his style would have blended perfectly. In fact, the overall mix is muddy and it would help the overall listen if there was more separation of the instrumentation and Griffin would sing vocal harmonies more like he does on the crushing “Love Song for the Dying”.

The obvious doom influences are here in abundance but Griffin is smart and doesn’t overuse the slow tempos and pushes it on half of the record. Incorporating other influences really pushes this record to another level. If he had stuck with just doom-laden riffs the whole time, the record would have become monotonous. With only eight songs this is a very quick listen and will have you looking to hit repeat once it is finished. There is no filler material and every song stands on its own. A fantastic debut for VICTOR GRIFFIN's IN-GRAVED and if you are looking for your PENTAGRAM fix look no further as this is as good, if not better than the critically acclaimed “Last Rites”.

4 Star Rating

1. Digital Critic
2. What If…
3. Late for an Early Grave
4. Fading Flower
5. Thorn in the Flesh
6. Teacher
7. Love Song for the Dying
8. Never Surrender
Victor Griffin – Vocals, Guitar
Pete Campbell  - Drums
Jeff Olson – Hammond Organ
Mike Puleo – Keyboards
Guy Pinhas – Bass
Record Label: Svart Records


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Edited 03 February 2023

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