Friday, September 25, 2009

Griftegård - Solemn, Sacred, Severe (2009)

Griftegård is a Swedish band with some members of Wolverine and Bokor, and they play a brand of traditional doom which ranges from emotionally crushing and melodic to solemn peace. The bands I am most reminded of are Memory Garden and Candlemass, but Griftegård are slower, almost moving at a funeral doom pace (though never quite so painfully dull as many bands of that niche).

The real strength of this band is the ability to let the melodies carry the riffs forward at this slow, tormenting pace while Thomas Eriksson just wails away with his vocals, his delivery always hints at an emotional burden, a sorrow that hangs upon his shoulders. You truly feel you are staring at the bottom of an empty bottle of spirits, and the world has not changed about you. Perhaps the most effective songs on the album are "I Refuse These Ashes", and the heavier "The Mire". I also really enjoyed the folk/ambient interlude "Noah's Hands" and the soaring "Punishment & Ordeal". As a whole, the album flows nicely, with some diverse moments to offset the ennui that this slower brand of doom can often create.

Your spine stoops
Then a crack
A whip wielded by ones greed
It can’t be held back
In the mire, in the mire

The album sounds excellent, with loud, crisp tones that crash forth from your speaker or headset, and the perfect melodic embellishment. This is one of those albums best experienced while you're in the proper mood. I suggest drunken loneliness or misplaced feelings of failure. It's a little sparser and slower than peers Candlemass, Isole or Memory Garden, but fans of any of those bands should check this album out.

Verdict: Win [7.5/10]
(all my values broken down)

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