Griftegard - Solemn, Sacred, Severe
Van Records
Doom Metal
6 songs (46'24")
Release year: 2010
Van Records
Reviewed by Alex

Griftegard means cemetery in old Swedish. They play doom metal. The kind which fits the definition of Solemn, Sacred, Severe. The slow, meandering, lumbering kind, where grief is piled on thick, riff after towering riff, one drum kick per three seconds at a time. Once you listen to these graveyard dirges, you will also lose the ability to talk in long eloquent sentences, and will switch to short stark word bursts. Droning, long, winding routes, screaming leads, twisting your soul inside out, Charles Taze Russell and Punishment and Ordeal push Griftegard all the way out to the extreme doom fringes, almost crossing into funeral variety, in fact lifting one foot to step into the grave, but not making that final decisive move.

Griftegard does not scrape the bottom of the barrel with their sonic palette and they weave a good deal of melody into their cheerless tunes. Although entirely grieving and desperate, they remain clean and populate the outermost fringes of Black Sabbath and Candlemass realm instead of becoming Skepticism and Shape of Despair. The final distinguishing point is the vocals of Thomas Eriksson. The man has one powerful clean wail, and if Rob Lowe ever turned Candlemass down, the Stockholmers may be looking towards their countryman for Messiah Marcolin’s replacement. The other point of reference is Stefan Berglund of Memory Garden, and in fact Griftegard reminded me somewhat of that rather dormant these days outfit.

One has got to have disposition for this kind of music. It may get a wee bit tedious and stretchy on I Refuse These Ashes and The Mire (title fitting). Griftegard may even have some religious overtones with church bells ringing on Charles Taze Russell and Noah’s Hands being a drumless organ-based church choral piece. One thing Solemn, Sacred, Severe does not lack is emotional punch stuffed into these elegiac laments. It reminds you that to find relief we don’t have to always keep it all in, and shedding a tear sometimes is all that’s needed. Griftegard makes you sad, but does not bury you senseless, despite the name of their moniker, and provides a conduit to a long-sought release.

Killing Songs :
Charles Taze Russell, Punishment and Ordeal, Drunk with Wormwood
Alex quoted 78 / 100
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