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You weird Swedish bastard, you! - 50%

BlackMetal213, August 14th, 2017

Grav is a Swedish black metal band that up until recently I hadn't heard about whatsoever. Sir N. is the single person behind this solo project, playing all of the instruments. I don't think I'll go out of my way to listen to much of this band's work, but this EP, entitled "Fordærvet djævelskab", is not an absolutely atrocious slab of black metal. It's a bit strange in some ways though it's certainly not strange in a horrible way. Then again, it's not really all that great. I'm not sure if this is the musical peak of Sir N. because I haven't listened to any other projects he's involved with either. I mean, it certainly COULD be worse...

So yeah this is somewhat of a weird album. "Forblændet af Nattens Lys" is the first actual track and it contains some very weird sounds. It's quite melodic and has some very catchy ideas and this is partially why it's so weird. There are even moments where the guitars border on something that sounds like surf rock. This is a huge oddity though it makes for an album that is not too derivative of most classic Scandinavian black metal recordings and bands, and this is something positive I can say about this release. This song almost has a bouncy, upbeat quality about it. Actually, this is not the only instance of this. Take "Selvmord min Trofaste Byrde" as another example of this and you have something that almost sounds like party music-injected black metal.

The production of this is a bit strange too. It's raw but not to the point where it's hard to listen to, and you can clearly hear all of the instruments. Even the bass most of the time. "Selvmord min Trofaste Byrde" is a song where things sound darker and more depressing, creating a more twisted atmosphere, but it's still a very weird tune. The guitar tone is sometimes off-putting, notably in the album's excessive tremolo picked moments. There are plenty of melodic moments on here that actually sound pretty damn good but they're overshadowed by the absolute weirdness of the overall music. Hell, the title track is a perfect example of this. It begins very strongly and has some really cool riffs but then the vocals come in accompanied by this weird, bouncy guitar segment, and it sounds utterly absurd.

This is a very weird little EP, and I only was able to listen to it a few times before reviewing this because it started to become a bit too much. This surely qualifies as experimental black metal because it totally sounds like it. For sure, this was one of my more curious discoveries on YouTube.