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Griftegård : Solemn · Sacred · Severe

Two years after their excellent EP 'Psalm Book', the Swedish band strikes again, this time with a full-length album. The few previous mistakes have been corrected (i.e. keyboards are mixed less into the forefront), and we have here the second best Swedish Epic release of 2009.

Everything that make Epic Doom a tremendous experience is here: weeping guitars, tomb-like drumming, cold bass and a lot of vocal mourning. But there's something that make Griftegård stand out of the crowd: the religious side. For Griftegård is a religious band, not in the ‘Jesus-loves-you-buy-my-record-please’ way that made Stryper so funny years ago, but in the mystic and esoteric way the band manage to create atmospheres. Church-goers among you, especially the European ones, will find here the same kind of atmosphere you could expect from a Sunday mass. Singer Thomas Eriksson seems to actually LIVE the pain, the suffering, the emotions he display. It is very rare nowadays to find such a vocalist who put so much soul in his art.

Completing this are a lot of good points. Choirs, to start, and well done with that (the end of 'I Refuse These Ashes', for example), organs (mind you, I haven't said keyboards but organs, like churches ones) that bring a funeral mystical feeling to the music (the fantastic opening to 'Noah's Hands' is guarantee to bring tears to your eyes), and piano ('Drunk With Wormwood', which is maybe one of the best Doom song of 2009)... Monks gathering and chanting, old abbeys in the mist, mysteries and darkness, but more important, baroque sorrow, which make gargoyles weep. I don't know if Griftegård is a Christian band, but they manage to very well convey the depths of the Christian mysteries in their music, and to couple it with the best of what Sweden can offer in term of Heavy Doom. Such an impressive release can only be listened in awe and respect. With 'Silent · Solemn · Severe', Griftegård manage to re-transcript the physical and spiritual pain of the Nazarene pined on the cross. In sharing it so beautifully, they've crafted a dark jewel, one more for a year that will be definitively be remembered in the times to come by the fans of Epic Doom.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Charles Taze Russell
2. Punishment & Ordeal
3. I Refuse These Ashes
4. Noah's Hands
5. The Mire
6. Drunk With Wormwood

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes.

Visit the Griftegård bandpage.

Reviewed on 24-10-2009 by Laurent Lignon
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