Grá - "Necrology of the Witch" (2013)


"Necrology of the Witch"

Unexploded Recs.


Grá is a swedish black metal quartet (or rather horde, ha!) founded in 2010 in Stockholm by the members or inter alia Domgård and Cursed 13. The guys have one longplay on their account and two EPs. One of them, "Necrology of the Witch", they released in march of this year. So this review is not very quick, but fuck it. The music counts the most after all.
Generally speaking, even if the band is from Sweden that doesn't necessarily means that it is under the influence of the swedish scene. Sure, from time to time we can hear some echeos of swedish bands (like Marduk's slower tracks) but I think that more influencial for Grá is Norway, especially Mayhem and Burzum and also something else, yet I cannot remind what. Anyway these are loose associations, because the band has defenitely it's own identity and doesn't copy blindly somebody's work.
The music mostly changes tempo from quite fast to rather slow. Faster parts (like in "Worms and Crowns) are mostly a solid, purely black metal tunes. They sound good, although are not very original. But I suppose that maniacs will not care about such things, will they? Especially that sometimes musicians add some strange sounds in the background, which make those parts more listenable. However most of the album is filled with slower parts, which sometimes sounds really intriguing. Occasionaly it sounds close to mentioned Burzum, especially drum parts on the best track of this album -  Helfärd II. Big usage of cymbals is something that I defenitely like! Also the usage of tremolo picking by solo guitarist, blurred, hypnotic tunes of lead guitar and mentioned slow drumbeats creates a very sinister, and at the same time melancholic atmosphere which in some way can loosely associate with "Filosofem".
Interesting is the usage of several different sounds. An opening "In Cordibus Vestris" is built up from bell sounds and a vocalist singing something with clear voice in latin in a manner of the prayer. It's a really good opening, I admit it even if I don't like such things (mostly they are boring). Also quite interesting is the track "On the Way to Styx" with sounds of raining, water (swimming?) and falling coins. All those who knows well greek mythology should appreciate such kind of metaphorical journey.
The last track is a cover - "Freezing Moon", to be more precisious. To be honest it's propably the worst part of this EP. I mean it's OK, but first of all there are thousands covers of that track. What is the point in doing it again? And secondly - the original version is better (not mentioning a live version from "Live in Leipzig" with Dead on vocals). Though I understand the idea of honoring favourite artist.
So to sum up - "Necrology of the Witch" is a solid portion of tradtional black metal. Maniacs should put it on their list "to buy in the next month" very quickly.

Rate: 7+/10

An official promo-video:

1. In Cordibus Vestris
2. Necrology of the Witch
3. Οδεύοντας προς την Στύγα (On the Way to Styx) 
4. Worms and Crowns
5.  Helfärd II 
6. Freezing Moon (Mayhem cover) 
Total time: 27:56

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