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GRAVELAND - THE FIRE OF AWAKENING - Reviewed by Grim Gaijin

Track Listing
1) We Shall Prevail
2) Battle Of Wotan's Wolves
3) In The Sea Of Blood
4) Die For Freedom
5) The Four Wings Of The Sun
Those of you into true black metal know that the name GRAVELAND is synonymous with both Nordic Style Black Metal and more recently Viking Style Black Metal. Although extremely talented and influencial in both, it is there streak of Viking Style Black Metal releases that has made them a success in the underground world of black metal. With grim nordic syle releases such as "In The Glare Of Burning Churches", "Carpathian Wolves" and the monumental "The Celtic Winter" sending out messages of pure hate, it is their newer viking themed releases; "Raise Your Sword", "Creed Of Iron" and "Memory And Destiny" that continue to keep me entertained to this day.

The Fire Of Awakening continues where Memory And Destiny left of. As a matter of fact, it is almost as if they were part of the same session because of their similarities. That is not a bad thing though because Rob Darken (the sole member of Graveland), has enough talent and pagan hate to keep us interested for a long time to come. The five songs on "The Fire" range from 7 and a half minutes to 10 minutes in length and the atmosphere of each song is strong enough to make us think that we are on a battlefield in medieval times fighting for our lives. The one major difference from this disk and the past few Graveland releases is the increase in tempo for the majority of the songs. Nowhere close to blast-beat range, but also not as doomy as Raise Your Sword. My only gripe with "The Fire" (and Memory and Destiny) is the lack of a Native polish vocal release (as with Creed Of Iron). Not only does it add to the black metal atmosphere to mystical proportions, it just sounds plain evil!

For those of you who have been wanting to give Viking metal a try but are not sure who to listen to, stop your search with Graveland and prepared to be overpowered by it's enthralling message of power, brutality and beauty. More specifically, "The Fire Of Awakening" is an all out pagan adventure into the afterland. Bring your sword!!

--Grim Gaijin 06.11.04
About this Writer:
David Loveless // Dave's early introduction to Metal was listening to records by Black Sabbath and Kiss. Discovering Metallica's Master of Puppets on record at the local public library turned his world upside down. After spending nearly 24 years in Japan and expanding his love for the International underground metal scene, Dave (and family) now resides in the US. The savage brutality of Extreme Metal brings out the "Grim Gaijin" in him.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: GRAVELAND
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
The Fire of AwakeningGraveland
2003
David Loveless6/11/2004


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