Graveland - _Creed of Iron_
(No Colours Records, 2000)
by: Alvin Wee (7 out of 10)
By now, most informed black metallers won't even have to read a Graveland review: like many of the bands on No Colours Rec., Graveland have carved a small (albeit hardcore) niche of fans from the underground for themselves, and the rest just think they're crap. Admittedly, it's hard to maintain objectivity in the face of such material; while the music isn't exactly award-winning, it has a certain charm in the face of more commercial Viking/Pagan acts like Mithotyn or (the terribly degenerated) Einherjer. Taking their somewhat groundbreaking mix of folkloric black metal on _Immortal Pride_ one step further, _Creed of Iron_ trots along at a much more satisfying pace than _IP_, while retaining the dense, highly wrought epicness of the previous album. For those unfamiliar with the Graveland's new direction since _Follow the Voice..._, the band have been described in terms of Falkenbach and latter-day Bathory. Truth is, there's little out there to compare the uniquely Polish style against; suffice it to say that _CoI_ is a colorful tapestry of folk-influenced black metal (with all the requisite synths, clear "singing" and gong-smashes), the underground nature of which belies its surprising complexity and immenseness. Though sounding suspiciously like their label-/country-mates Juvenes, Graveland boast a far tighter and more experienced crew, resulting in a complex album that opens up with each subsequent listen. A vast improvement on the draggy _IP_, and certainly a good break from the hordes of faceless "pagan" bands out there. Available on LP and digipak CD.


ALBUMS
7/27/2007 J Montague 7.5 Graveland - Will Stronger Than Death
1/29/2006 T DePalma 7.5 Graveland - Fire Chariot of Destruction
5/9/2005 J Montague 8.5 Graveland - Dawn of Iron Blades
12/5/2003 J Montague 7 Graveland - Blood of Heroes
11/23/2003 J Montague 9 Graveland - The Fire of Awakening
4/11/2003 M Noll 8 Graveland - Memory and Destiny
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