Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Another Pleasant Surprise - 83%

VanassHeluphicclo, April 3rd, 2020

Krigsgrav is an incredible black-doom band from Texas. Although their earlier work was true black metal, this release culminated in the vein of classic death-doom acts like Katatonia or Paradise Lost, interspersed with a bunch of post-metal melodies, in their most successful release ever, surpassing everything they had done before that release.

The artwork Luciana Nedelea did for this album is just beautiful and immediately threw me into the setting and atmosphere before I even had a chance to hear the first track. If the manifestation of doom metal had a material form, this album cover would certainly not be far from its look.

Although I'm not a big fan of intro tracks, the short instrumental track "Leave No Path To Follow" is quite tolerable and seems like a prophecy of the coming slow tempo melodies and the gloomy, melancholic atmosphere. After the pains of tolerating the into are over, we are exposed to the sheer power of the guitar sound. Each song is perfectly structured, whereby the sequence of melodies and their intended emotional value resembles more a fable than a collection of decent riffs. The melodic basic parts are mainly characterized by their simplicity, it's just incredible how much two simple notes can contribute to the atmosphere, and the second track "Strength Through Wounding" is a perfect example of how this structure is applied. You can't say that the main riffs don't have a doomy vibe, but one should still classify them as post-black metal. Some of the melodies and the "heavy" parts are just too memorable and with their unique structure, I could compare them to waves that hit the listener again and again. All in all, the band's guitarist, Justin Coleman, has proven that he has an incredible riff-writing ability, and the absurd amount of incredible material he has written cannot be described in its entirety.

Since this is an openly guitar-based band, I didn't necessarily expect an absolute mastery of drums, which is true for most parts of this release. Nevertheless, David Sikora, the drummer of the band, did a pretty decent job, taking advantage of the slow tempo with some very interesting ideas in the middle tempo sections. Overall the drums are strongly influenced by black metal and are played in a slower tempo, which makes them perfectly fitting to the atmosphere and sound dictated by the guitars.

The bass, on the other hand, is something I really enjoyed throughout the whole album. The basslines may be in the background, but they are still good enough to give the slow riffs the quality, sound incredibly heavy and occasionally lead to some headbanger tracks like "The End".

Justin may not be the best vocalist in extreme metal, but the repertoire of his raw, high-pitched screams, very much in the old, classic Black Metal style of the early nineties, and some deeper growls from the death-doom side of this release simply fit too well into the atmosphere of this album. There are even some clean vocals that are absorbed by the atmosphere, which is surprisingly pleasant and definitely suitable for fans of the newer stuff from Paradise Lost, although Krigsgrav doesn't use it as extensively.

The cover of Katatonia's "Brave" is the ending that this album needed. Mikael Akerfeldt's vocals are something that can't simply be recreated perfectly, but Justin's vocals gave this extremely well-done cover a certain Krigsgrav quality that fits the sound that makes this album so special.

I have been lucky enough to discover a number of incredible new bands lately, and with Krigsgrav the list is getting a bit longer. This album is a very sophisticated bundle of beautiful, melancholic melodies, followed by some post-metal highlights that reverse the darker parts in certain places. The atmosphere is not a constant, but evolves from riff to riff and takes you on a journey of auditory sensations, which are carried to extremes by the high art of metal music.

Lastly, there is nothing else to say except that this is a nearly perfect release from an extremely underrated band. Therefore I ask you to do a good thing for yourself and the society around you and start listening to this album.