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Almost unlistenable - 45%

mephisto_the_hairy, October 23rd, 2005

Black metal is, of course, supposed to be a very ugly form of music. And this really does exemplify a particular school of black metal, in its raw, heathen sound. But that doesn't excuse the fact that it's really physically painful to hear it. Rob Darken's voice is incredibly, incredibly grating, and the guitar lines are played as if by someone who has just purchased the instrument and is playing through an amp that is likely to stop working before the song is over.

Of course, some times raw ugliness works in a band, especially a black metal band. But Graveland is decidedly not Mayhem. They completely lack any of the energy with which a good band like Mayhem is able to make this sort of sound work. They instead plod painfully through a series of pretentious 8 minute dirges, each of which plow into one's head and threaten to rip out the victim's ears. And the victim would likely be glad for this.

The 45 points given are sheerly for the band's ability to put across an atmospheric theme, ie one of being eaten by wolves in a blizard.