Review : GRIFTEGÅRD – "Solemn Sacred Severe"

Griftegård – Solemn Sacred Severe
released May 25, 2010 on Ván Records

Griftegård is a Swedish word for “graveyard without a church” and also refers to this doom metal band from Sweden, formed in 2005. It contains six songs and all lyrics are clean. “Charles Taze Russell” starts off with a slow whisper, giving way to a sinister feel before the instruments really start to kick in. The pace is slow with a chorus-like feel to the vocals. I really like how it flows along and creates the feeling of solemness. “Punishment and Ordeal” seems more traditional in nature with the down-tuned guitars and being the longest track on this CD, is able to sustain a pace that evokes Black Sabbath much like it should, based upon the genre. It picks up somewhat in the middle, sounding like the slow march of an imperial soldier into the valley of the damned. This track seems like the most fleshed-out. At 8 minutes in, the vocals of Thomas Erikkson come into play and he has a decent range, adding to the already haunting feel of this track. “I Refuse These Ashes” and “Noah’s Hand” continue the same blueprint, not really straying far but still warranting a listen. One thing I should note is that the lyrics seem to have theological overtones but it’s not enough to be either preachy or overly atheistic. “The Mire” picks up a pace similar to the second track with more of that epic marching feel to it and it offers a change of pace that is needed after the past two tracks. Probably the second most fleshed-out song on this CD. “Drunk With Wormwood” is another opportunity for Erikkson to show off his vocal range as his voice becomes low, reduce almost to mumbling like that of someone who’s actually been drinking wormwood. It picks up halfway in, giving way to more of the same epic sound that exists elsewhere on this CD. I feel that this CD is masterful and shows a lot of promise from this band. They obviously know their chops and if you are into doom metal, this is a release that you won’t want to miss.

FCC: None
Try: 1, 2, 5

01. Charles Taze Russell
02. Punishment & Ordeal
03. I Refuse These Ashes
04. Noah’s Hands
05. The Mire
06. Drunk with Wormwood


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