Siebenburgen - _Grimjaur_
(Napalm Records, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
This Swedish band's interesting _Loreia_ [CoC #22] relied mainly on catchy riffs, folkish influences and unusual (yet very good) female vocals to seize the listener's attention. Strangely, despite the band's style having fundamentally stayed the same, these three elements have nonetheless been somewhat forsaken on _Grimjaur_. Their musical style can still be described as generally mid-paced, not really harsh black metal with folk influences, even though the pace has somewhat increased and the folk influences decreased. Instrumentally, the band actually shows some improvement, but the average riff quality is lower than before -- less catchy without really accomplishing anything else significantly better than before. _Grimjaur_ starts pretty well, and the first few tracks flow quite nicely. However, after those opening tracks, the album gradually becomes repetitive and even sometimes monotonous, only occasionally showing the quality I expected. With the exception of the last track, there are few traces left of the folkish parts found in _Loreia_ and, what's far worse, Louisa Hallsteed (the female vocalist / violinist on _Loreia_) only has short appearances on three tracks -- beside the nice final track, which is all hers. Considering that her vocals were what interested me most in _Loreia_, this is a major disappointment. _Grimjaur_ thus falls a couple of marks below the much more enjoyable _Loreia_, which deserved a better successor.
(article published 7/6/1998)
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