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Griffin
The Ultimate Demise

Company: Burning Star Records
Release: 2007
Reviewer: EC
Genre: Traditional
Rating
-



  • Much faster than the old, running through ten solid cuts of traditional fare



  • Norway's Griffin has really gone through some changes throughout their career. To bring you up to speed on the band changes you may need a pencil with eraser as well as several scraps of paper. The band was formed by guitarist Kai Nergaard and bassist Johnny Wangberg and released their first album in 2000, "Wasteland Serenades", for Seasons Of Mist Records. At the time the vocalist was Tommy Sebastian Halseth (Godsend), who also contributed his voice to the group's sophomore release, "The Sideshow", also on Seasons Of Mist. 2004 is when yours truly rallied behind the band, with new singer Peter Beck joining the act with his stirring vocals recalling Phil Lynot. The band's third release was "No Holds Barred" followed by the 2005 album "Lifeforce", both released on Norway's Facefront Records. These two albums are by far the best Griffin records to date and featured along with new singer Beck guitarist Marcus Silver and drummer Marius Karlsen. In 2005 Peter Beck learned that he had a severe illness and was no longer able to continue with the band. For some reason or another both Silver and Karlsen left the band around this time as well. Now Griffin is like a brand new band, combining new members Roar Naustvoll (guitar), Alessandro Elide (drums), and Rolf Bakken (vocals) with the original two members.

    Like "Lifeforce" this new album is also produced by King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRoqcue, adding a very polished spin to this classic metal sound. For the most part this new Griffin is much faster than the old, running through ten solid cuts of traditional fare and running up a tab of sparkling leads from 18 year old virtuoso Naustvoll. Listens to songs like "The Ultimate Demise" and "Here Comes The Pain" recalls the early sonic assault of Overkill with chugging machine-gun fire riffs and Bakken's real clean delivery. The really great thing about "Lifeforce" was the amount of hard rock elements and it is great to see the band still living with that. "Legends Live Forever" and "Restless Dreams" are arena rock soaked, sounding like White Lion crossed with George Lynch's axe-work with Dokken. Classic metalheads will find substance with the Rainbow-like "Crown Of Thorns". I personally like Bakken's voice and he reminds me of Jorn Lande at times, especially on "Angel" which really sounds a bit like Masterplan.

    Overall this is really a quality outing from the rejuvenated band. "The Ultimate Demise" isn't quite up to par with personal favorite "No Holds Barred" but time should be a valuable asset to this band as they grow together.


    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    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: GRIFFIN
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    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    The Ultimate DemiseGriffin
    2007
    Eric Compton4/11/2008


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