Saturday, July 21, 2012

Graveflower – Returning to the Primary Source (Solitude Productions 2012)

Perhaps it’s the weird unseasonal gloom outside or my overabundance of free time  that’s managed to get me in the mood for dismal and drowning doom like Graveflower, but regardless of reason I am actually quite glad that I’ve gotten the chance to finally be fully dissolved into this album, which on the surface left me initially unmoved months back. With some things, such as funeral and death doom styles, they really do just require the right frame of mind to appreciate fully so whether you’re already a fan of these styles or just in that right mood and personal introspection this is a great and progressive album that might actually drift away from balmy gloom with melody and clean morose vocals playing as dominant a role and as heavy riffs that create a void in the time space continuum and morbid drawn out growls.

“White Noise” starts with some great traditional doom metal riffs and melodic guitar leads that show more promise than the expected vortex of “funeral” gloom. The doom rhythms progress throughout the entire song, all 9+ minutes of it, the mournful clean vocals remind me of classic death rock (Virgin Prunes, Christian Death,etc. ) vocals intermixed with the expected but not indecipherable death doom ghoul growl, and there’s also some prog/post metal hinted at that becomes more pronounced in the following “My Turn” . Although the Isis/Pelican “proggy and atmospheric wash of drifting melody” mixed with the heavier, but not extreme doom, is not overly unique it does actually add some meat to the emotional vocals and makes the 11-minute “My Turn” more fluid and ethereal. Honestly, shit…it’s ridiculous to expect to hear something NEW these days during the initial listen, but for those who spend the time to listen to something more than once or twice will find that there IS, in fact, new sounds and rhythms being created.

“Rain in Inferno” is heavier in the vocals and shorter in length, 5-and-a-half- minutes total, definitely more of a moody epic doom song with some guitar squeeling and nice doom/metal leads appearing throughout thus making this one my personal stand out.

“The Falling Leaves” is another moody and colossal 11-minute doom ride, but here we now have a speedier tempo, some solid grooves, lots of fluidity in riffs, spoken word,  and diverse elements/styles such as a death metal crunching guitar sound in some of the rhythm parts.

Although not breaking any new ground on the surface, there’s a lot to unravel in terms of moods and intricacies within the lengthy emotional tracks here that deserves admiration and to be heard. Don’t fall into the blindmans ditch thinking that all extreme doom/funeral doom/ death doom are all the same and either gothic and grotesquely emotional or abysmal and droning growls with the occasional post rock tidbit thrown in. I almost cast this one aside myself until I just stopped trying to listen to it and dissect, then it revealed itself in true form and it was worth the effort.

You can also stream the full album here:

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