Thursday, January 4, 2018

Grafvitnir (review by MMB)

Keys to the Mysteries Beyond
Carnal Records
15 December 2017
Has Grafvitnir signed a pact with the forces of darkness to unleash one album every year? It sure looks that way: 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. In fact, when I first saw the notice about this album, I thought that there must have been a mistake. Maybe I was confusing this band with some other one, but I checked and confirmed. In 2016 there was Obeisance to a Witch Moon and then in 2017, another testimony of the abrasive cult with a particularly malicious realization of black metal, only for the most devoted of the fanatics, the ones who search out and hunt down albums and bands hoping to add worthy alliances to their treasures. Grafvitnir represents the dedication to fierce occult black metal interpreted through blazing, dizzying speed, fast tremolo picking and the snarl-hissing-reptilian vocals of classic-minded black metal. Here and there you get some breathing room in the shape of a couple of brief and quiet interludes, which come in handy when you are bewildered by the speed juggernaut that is this album, but the main objective is a sonic assault on the senses.
Expect the necessity of various listens before the warp speed chaos begins to make sense. This band hopes that those who are sworn to black metal, the heavy metal lifers, recognize this for what it is: don’t expect to understand the songs on the first few listens; the listeners’ heads will be spinning in confusion at the sheer sandpaper-on-ear abrasiveness of it all. The heavy metal lifers will know that this is no reason to panic, reject or run. It’s merely a warning to tighten the belt, grab that shovel, get a better grip on it, and keep digging. Keep digging that abandoned grave, your recompense is not far away.
Of course, Grafvitnir is a harsh and brutal black metal experience. I suspect that the band plays this fast because they want to find out who is mentally strong enough to stay with these velocities. The band offers no peace and no olive branch to the casual observer with this special invitation to join the black metal; to initiate into underground, contrarian black metal.
Keys to the Mysteries Beyond 1.Nidhögg 05:42
2.Key to the Mysteries Beyond 04:26
3.Vargavinter 05:38
4.Crossing the Abyss 01:38
5.Eternity's Glistening Black 04:04
6.Journey into Storms 01:41
7.Unleash the Storm of Nothingness 03:53
8.Eye of Lucifer 05:28
9.Whispers of the Primordial Sea 04:23
10.Glimpses of the Unseeable 05:01
total time 41:54

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