Friday, January 4, 2013


Grafvolluth - Black Metal Against Time
Desastrious Records, 2004
Genre: Black Metal

1. Gotterdammerung
2. Epit to Barbarity
3. Funeral of the Damned
4. Forests of Ymir
5. Knot of the Slain
6. A Snow will Fall
7. March atop the Fallen

This is one of my more random purchases over the years and I initially picked this album up because it was advertised as being something highly original.  I found out this band was from the United States, so I thought I would put it to the test.  For the most part they failed, but this isn’t a horrible album or anything.  It’s just quite average as far as Black Metal albums go.  I guess my expectations of this being "original" got in the way of really getting into the release.

When you first hear the intro of this album you really start to think that maybe Black Metal in the United States is starting to come around, but then the actual full brunt of the song begins to kick in and it kind of takes away from the essence the intro presents initially.  That wonderful Black Metal essence that I rave about in many of my reviews seems to be wholly inconsistent on this album.  For an album titled “Black Metal Against Time” it surely got the essence of the time rather incorrect.  The main part of this album that really kills it for me is the vocal performance.  I don’t know what this vocalist was hoping to achieve with this kind of vocal rendition, but it’s more annoying than “sinister” sounding, if that’s what he was attempting to do.  Luckily for Grafvolluth vocals aren’t a central mode of the song structuring.  This isn’t like Marduk where every riff practically has a verse over it.  There are guitar riffs here and here throughout the album that are simply great and really pay true homage to that essence I think they are trying to evoke with this album.  Songs like “Epic to Barbarity,” “A Snow will Fall,” and “March Atop the Fallen” all have their special moments with specific riff sequences that embody that real Black Metal essence, but it’s not enough to save this album in the great scheme of things.

Overall, as far as Black Metal goes this is a rather standard album, utilizing that formula that has been used so many times before.  Having a few good guitar sequences throughout the album is hardly anything to be praised for.  Coupled with the fact that the vocal performance is wretched overall and honestly takes away from the whole Black Metal presentation to begin with, which I had mentioned above, means that this is not exactly the best you can get.  Thus, in the end this amounts to a merely average album, but with the potential to become something better.  I suppose I should say these guys should keep working on their approach.  It might get better as time goes on, but they’ve hardly proved anything about Black Metal being against time with this release.

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