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Graven – Of Misanthropic Spirit - 95%

Fidei_Defensor, January 13th, 2015

“Of Misanthropic Spirit” was the first demo by the Bavarian horde Graven which evolved from Totenreich. It proves that everything Vargsang, mostly known from his current project of the same name, touches turns to pure black metal. Be forewarned, this CD-R is not for those of you who want bands to reinvent the wheel of how black metal should sound. Graven carried the sound of the 90’s into the new millennium. This is black metal, period.

On “Of Misanthropic Spirit” you can hear a lot of straightforward tremolo picking on the guitars and furious blast beats on the drums remembering of Darkthrone. However there are also some mid tempo parts with memorable riffing in which nice keyboard melodies are added to the overall rawness. These parts seem to resemble Emperor’s early efforts and fit nicely into Graven’s musical concept. The vocals remind of Nocturno Culto and also a bit of Graven’s fellow-countrymen Ungod.

Considering this is a demo recorded on eight tracks the sound is really good. It just perfectly fits the musical style. It’s raw but still all instruments are powerful and clearly distinguishable. The demo is indeed very much influenced by Scandinavian black metal but it is far from being generic. In contrast to hundreds of bands who worship Darkthrone, Emperor and the like, Graven never start to bore the listener, they even achieve to surprise by adding a short but great guitar solo in the final track.

Unfortunately “Of Misanthropic Spirit” was only released on a CD-R. I hope the plans that seem to exist to re-release it on vinyl will soon come true.