Prologue - The Covenant
2. Wrath - Into a mental inferno
3. Envy - Beyond the Grace of God
4. Gluttony - The King's Jester
5. Sloth - The Echoes of Babel
6. Lust - Of Masters and Servants
7. Greed - The Sign of the Rope
8. Pride - The Black Mirror
9. Epilogue - The Lord of Sin
playtime: 42:28 min
C . Badtke
chance for the music to just breathe and speak for itself.
German Black Metallers Grabak have released their newest album entitled SIN on May 20, 2011. As itís name implies, it is a full concept-album concerning the seven Capital Sins with a track dedicated to each, and as done before, a prologue and epilogue. Released via Twilight Vertrieb, this album is the (forbidden) fruit of a deal made between the band and label this past year. This album shatters the silence since 2007ís Agash Daeva and features a total play time of 42:28 and 9 tracks.
The prologue of this serpentine tale begins with a nightmarish sound scape that wends itís way into an onslaught of aural pandemonium. What is immediately apparent is the production grade. Itís a lot tighter and and of a higher fidelity than their past releases. This album features guest vocals by A. Rotzek and L. Moellenhof, Who I think may be the operatic and choral vocals peppered through-out. The Lead vocals are done well and with clarity in respect to mix and production. You can hear Janís various intricacies that wouldnít be otherwise audible. The Guitar and drum production are just as excellent. My ears really appreciated the absence of that all too common drum ďclick-inessĒ that plagues most underground bands. I would have to say, as a comparison, the mix is on par with Gorgorothís latest album.
The over arching composition has certainly sated my appetite and in several ways. This album isnít the old-hat Black Metal album that is all blast beats and frantic tremolo picking. The music has a full body and is contoured with sonic shape. Now, donít misunderstand and assume that this release isnít hellishly fast for the most part, it is but itís done with matured skill that is evident in contrast to previous releases. The structure and atmosphere is one that is bombastic and has dramatic flare.
The best tracks, in my opinion , are Prologue-The covenant and Pride-The Black Mirror because of the Choral/Operatic vocal arrangements placed within. Grabak hasnít entirely jumped onto the ďsymphonicĒ band-wagon. What they have done with these vocals , or rather havenít done, is let let them strangle their established style. They underscore and intensify the music by accentuating the melodrama they are attempting to deliver. Lastly, Epilogue (The Dark Lordís Return) because it is a straight instrumental track that has only guitar,bass,and drums. It isnít one of those orchestral intermissions or outros that are overused these days but is a full metal track minus the vocals. What I like about it, is it allows a chance for the music to just breathe and speak for itself.
I would highly recommend this album for fans of good old school black metal. This album is rooted in that old style approach but is also progressed. They have come again more
seasoned, developed, and evolved.
by Gary Saul
gryphonmetal.ch. and based in the
U.S.A. he can be reached on facebook.