Thursday, July 28, 2016

Old Graves : " Long Shadows"

No new ground for Old Graves, is my first thought going into the project's latest release "Long Shadows". This album sound great, there is a lot of depth in the mix, but the sounds and the sweeping manner they are being presented here are nothing new when it comes to black metal. It's not until the third song "To Die Or Bear the Burden of Death" that I am impressed. The first two songs are sonically pleasing it is not until this moment in the album that I hear something that strikes me as unique. There is a sorrowful yet soaring melody that is not encumbered by constant blast beats.

"Slave to the Boiler That Heats the Baths" splits the difference between a sound that is all this projects own and adhering to the conventions of black metal. When unfettered by expectations some beautiful sounds are captured. It is hard to say how much of the fault lies in the genre or the song it self, more often than not it pleases my ears despite itself. Half the songs are compact and powerful, with a few excursions into almost post-rock in some of it's shimmering corners.It's the more reflective moments that stray from the raging cries of agony that are this album's best.

The long and winding "Teeth Pulled From Gnashing Jaws" takes it's time. It's not a bad song, but at the same time what I am listening for are the moments that stand out from every black metal band I have heard this year. The second take on "Aethernaut" has some cool moments, but it feels more like an outro. I'll give this album an 8. It's good for what it is, but don't expect the wheel to be reinverted here. Fans of very sonic and atmospheric black metal will be won over by this one.

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