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Grabunhold > Auf den Hügelgräberhöhen > Reviews
Grabunhold - Auf den Hügelgräberhöhen

Competent Enough... - 61%

TheStormIRide, December 3rd, 2019

Grabunhold's debut demo, Auf den Hügelgräberhöhen, offers a quick surge of raucous, stomping black metal. Released in 2017, the demo is a rather promising affair, if overly muddy and quite raw (though not quite raw enough to drop into the dreaded, static-filled realms of actual raw black metal, mind you). The fifteen minute, four track demo was enough to spark the attention of Iron Bonehead Productions, who went on to release the band's follow up EP in 2019, Unter dem Banner der Toten.

To those working backwards, the debut demo is much more primal and raw than the follow up. The production is roughshod, hearkening back to the days of four track recordings and basement rehearsal tapes, with overly loud drums and buried guitars. Scraping, gargled rasps and whirling tremolo riffing lie under a wash of loud, stomping percussion. The songs are rather straight forward, though the tremolo riffing invokes an almost atmospheric, medieval tinge at times. There's no denying that early second wave worship is the order of the day, and Grabunhold manages the sound much better than many other contemporaries.

Generally, there are no surprises throughout the demo, with the exception of the ambient buildup that leads into a short, yet lofty, epic-tinged outro that comprises "Eorls Ende". While Grabunhold would clean up the production of their follow up, and strengthen their songwriting, Auf den Hügelgräberhöhen, is a competent enough introduction to what's to come. Honestly,unless you're into ultra-raw demo tapes, there's no reason to mess with this when their later work does everything presented here just a little better.