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Magnificent - 100%

Sargon_The_Terrible, March 2nd, 2008

At last, at last I have in my hands the most recent Graveland opus Fire Chariot Of Destruction, which I approached with some worry. I loved Creed Of Iron and The Fire Of Awakening, but I thought 2004's Dawn Of Iron Blades was a major step back. Would this be awesome, or awful? Thank the One-Eyed God that this is awesome, and I think Fire Chariot Of Destruction is one of Darken's best albums to date.

Gone are the dull riffs and flat guitar tone of the last album, this is the Graveland I love: huge, epic riffs, monstrous pounding war-drums, and an atmosphere of unspeakable Aryan pride. "War Wolf" hammers out in grand fashion with a ten-minute march to war, and the album never really lets up. This is the kind of album where you stop whatever you are doing every few minutes to shake your head in wonder and say aloud "Man, this is a great fucking album." There are just no clinkers here, no dead spots, even though this is a long album, I don't wish it shorter by a second. "River Of Tears", "Flaming Wrathful Hate", "Dance Of Axes And Swords", just one killer epic march after another. A lot of people call Graveland "The Polish Bathory", and that may be an accurate assessment, but Darken maintains a snarling anger and hatred that Quorthon largely moved away from after Blood Fire Death, and rather than a soundtrack to a movie about Nordic history, this is more like the sound of the Einherjier coming to hack you to pieces right now. Fire Chariot Of Destruction isn't a retrospective, it's the fucking battle horns of Ragnarok. If you like Graveland's more recent works, then this is a no-brainer. No matter how much of a pain in the ass it is finding Graveland albums, this one is worth the trouble ten times over. Masterful.

Originally written for www.metalcrypt.com