Monday, December 1, 2008

GRAVDAL - Sadist CD review

Unexploded Records

At first I was a little disappointed with this release. I figured "unholy shit" they're from Bergen, Norway! But after the first listen I wasn't screaming "Hail to the Dark Lord". I wasn't planning any phone calls to Gaahl telling him it's time to pack it in there pal. In fact I thought Euronymous must be rolling over in his grave laughing. Yeah I wasn't happy at all with this one. But after a few days I gave it another shot, the release that is, I was totally sober. I always try to find something of worth with every Extreme Metal release when I do these reviews. The mainstream shit can rot away as far as I care. But bands like GRAVDAL have something going on with their music which can easily be overlooked. Especially if you are use to over the top type Black Fuckin Metal that roars at you. GRAVDAL on this their debut release have a sinister appeal to them. Musically it's straight forward Norwegian Black Metal and if it came out in 1993 then it would be an essential cult classic. But it's 2008 and if you're gonna go for the raw sound of yester-year it better be filthier than watching a goat fuck the week old corpse of a fat lady and eat it afterwards. Now that's filthy!

So to the band's credit I'd say at least half of Sadist is worthy enough for the goat
treatment mentioned in the previous paragraph. I'll tear into this by the basics. First off the vocals are decent. The singer obviously has a naturally cruel sounding vocal delivery. There's times when you can actually hear him reach his range limit. If this was an overly produced piece of crap you would never catch that. A producer would take that out in a heartbeat. Personally I'm glad this was recorded in a way that's probably more true to their live sound than alot of other bands coming out today. Yes I'm talking about the new crop of overly produced US bands who are really sounding phony of late. By the way there's nothing phony about GRAVDAL.

Musically I thought this band had a steady bass player because on some songs I heard him and then there's no bass at all. Guitar wise I have no complaints at all. Did Infernus teach these guys how to play? Because some songs on Sadist would easily compare with older GORGOROTH. That's a compliment guys, run with it. I especially liked how GRAVDAL slows things up on certain cuts letting the guitars roll over you. Not like a steamroller of course but instead like someone zipping up a body bag that contains a naked female corpse. By the way great cover photo! Finally there's the drumming which is competent as far as straight forward Black Metal goes. Fenriz hasn't found an heir to his throne just yet.

Like I mentioned earlier at first I didn't care for this but decided to give it a chance. I'm glad I did since this is just GRAVDAL's debut. Obviously their follow-up is going to blow away alot of people soon enough. Actually I'm betting on it since I decided not to write reviews for the new ones by SATYRICON and CRADLE OF FILTH. Prove me right guys, you're from Bergen for Satan's sake.

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