ALBUM: Graveborne – “Through the Window of the Night”
LABEL: Séance Records
GENRE: Black Metal
RATING: 8.0 / 10
Do you like black metal? Have you liked black metal for the last decade or so? Have you burned a church to the ground in the last 20 years? Well then, you’ll probably like Graveborne. Finnish black metallers Graveborne are relative youngsters in the scene, but they do boast some members with some obvious healthy experience in all things regarding ze metal ov black.
This 2014 release, release “Through the Window of the Night” is actually the band’s second release (three years on the heels of “Pure Negativity,” which is a pretty killer album title if I say so myself), and can definitely handle your need for raw black metal the way it was intended to be played. The production is filthy and appalling but in a good way. The guitars possess a splattery fuzz yet maintain enough clarity to give the riffs plenty of identity. The drumming sounds fairly raw yet exude crispness. Ultimately, this album sounds like old school raw black metal with a new coat of paint.
As for the music, there is much here to be enjoyed by a connoisseur of traditional black metal. There is plenty of blasting, tremolo-picked riffing, and evil vocals, but where this album sets itself apart is in the varying movements that lie within each song. Where many modern attempts at raw black metal fail is by succumbing to monotony. Graveborne have a knack for changing things up at just the right moments, and they do so by offering a flurry of refreshing textbook thrash riffs within a song. The band also uses subtle guitar leads to create memorable passages that you’ll want to hear again and again.
The only real downside of this album is its lack of anything even remotely resembling atmosphere. As a result, sitting through the whole thing for even a single listen can feel a little tedious despite the fact that the band attempt to give you a break for the first minute or so of “In the End I Find My Beginning”. It’s just a little too relentlessly abrasive to be something you can play over and over again, which isn’t always a bad thing, but I feel like it hurts this album.
In the end, this album is much better than I was expecting. Granted, I thought I would hear another tired attempt to recapture the Norwegian glory of 1994 all over again, but I can assure I was pretty pleased with the overall experience. It’s not the best black metal I’ve heard lately, but it’s far, far from the worst. If you like quality black metal as much as I do, then please do yourself a favor. Go put on your best chainmail and spiked wristbands and give this band a listen.
Review by: BH