This is the second release from German label V'n this year that's got me really excited. Whereas The Devil's Blood take a playful approach to pagan rites, Griftegard cast an epic pall of quasi-religious, existential gloom " this is not a criticism, this is remarkable stuff.
Sacred.Solemn.Severe is the musical equivalent of a Dor' etching, or perhaps a rainy day in Highgate Cemetery. Chants, hymns and histrionic, impassioned crooning tell of hatred of the flesh and solemn introspection. The overwhelming protestant puritanical aesthetic is both claustrophobic and apocalyptic " Griftegard wield Christian symbolism like a sledgehammer.
Unlike many doom acts who lurk on the periphery of parody with Hammer Horror theatrics, Griftegard emanate a sense of solemn, ernest duty " this is serious stuff, and at times is somewhat unsettling. This is underpinned by some exemplary song writing and haunting soulful melody. These 6 long songs end at with the ultimate finale " death, but there are undertones of rebirth or perhaps redemption, and you get the feeling that Griftegard have a lot more to say.
Griftegard display a depth, clarity and coherence that other Doom bands could only aspire to. A steamy breath of cold, dank winter air " both refreshing and unnerving.