With this latest release from Grafvitnir from Sweden, who are completely new to me. (they do have 2 full lengths and a demo previous to this ) I went into this review with no expectations or preformed bias ( well maybe a tad ). I was indirectly aware of the group because of the connection of band member Niantiel, who played guitar for Gra, who’s singer Heljarmadr, now sings for Dark Funeral. Im a listener of Gra’s work so I thought I would delve into this release.

On first listening  to them I get a heavy Setherial – Nord era sound from the band but with the more modern sound of course. also it gives a feel in what Dark Funeral would maybe have sounded like if they went in a more melodic not has chaotic vein. Some of the guitar and musical approach does give a tip of the hat to Dissection also. Plenty of fast-paced blasting, high pitch screaming  and tremolo picking you would expect from the aforementioned Setherial, early Keep of Kalessin with some of the keyboard flourishes. The music production is  well done and up to date and for the most part clear and upfront and of course the bass is non-existent. This is not the cold, retro sound of the old days that some may look for but all instruments are very well played by this darkened (albeit mysterious) horde of musicians.

From what I can see of the other members; Modrius and Tishin, they don’t have listings to who plays or sings what but the vocalist is a bit more higher pitched in his register and does convey a good enough evil quality in his approach. The guitarist does present plenty of catchy riffage and with his buzz saw technique and does keep things interesting. Not much new is being done here and in general putting up a strong effort. Some songs can kind of blend together because the overall dynamics from song to song are basically the same. Standouts for me are opener “Kenaz” and “Elddop” and closer “Into the Vast Forever”.

The last 2 here give much of the Dissection vibe. One point of interest tho, is their lyrical approach which deals with Chaosophy and makes for a more in depth listen, for those that like to dig deeper in their black metal. I have a digital copy, so I can only hope that lyrics are presented. So if you do need something to tide you over until Dark Funeral releases their latest, or wish for the Setherial of old, this could be something for you.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Will 'Bones' Lee
March 9th, 2016


  1. Commented by: vugelnox

    I really like this album! Along with Ninkharsag these guys do a fine job of conveying that icy but melodic Dissection feel.

  2. Commented by: Will "BoneS" Lee

    Oh yeah, my same thoughts also. I like the overall feel of the album. It was a grower for me. Initially, I thought it was a bit too samey. But with further listens, I began to get much more of a better feel for it.

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