Swedish duo Grafvitnir have been churning out dependably solid black metal for some while – ten full lengths in an eleven year career, to be exact – and, time and again they’ve delivered the goods in fabulously old-school style.
I’m pleased to report therefore that it’s very much ‘just’ another day at the office for the band as far as new album Into The Outer Wilderness is concerned. The third track here, Venomous Incantations, says all there really needs to be said about the band and the album, being a tried n’true assault and bathory on the senses, weaving a cold miasma of decrepit filth around the listener in the oldest school fashion imaginable. That’s not to say that this is just an exercise in Old God worship or nostalgia-milking cynicism – far from it. In the course of their career Grafvitnir have actually forged a sound that’s pretty close to timeless, in it’s own way, maintaining the rage in a satisfying manner which adds a ragged relevancy, almost, to everything they do.
Hence Lycanthropic Litany rumbles along, sounding like nobody else in particular yet encapsulating the classic Swedish BM sound we all know and love so well at the same time. From Dissection to Watain, these guys form something of a missing link between the ages, in the process delivering some pretty vital headbanging fodder in their own right. Där Köldvindar Skriker av Hat – by some way the best track here, in this not so humble scribe’s opinion – rumbles along at an uproarious clip, fuelled by some terrific drumming and a jaunty main riff that chisels a niche in your brain for itself from the first minute you hear it. It’s my job to be an old cynic and punch holes in everything I hear, but after living with this track in particular (but also the album as a whole) for some while I’m bound to say I just can’t. If you like this kind of stuff, then you must have this album in your collection. Trust yer old Uncle Mick… You won’t regret it!
Into The Outer Wilderness releases on June 30th.