Graves, from Portugal, featuring members of well known bands from the Portuguese scene – Flagellum Dei, for example – first showed their inner beast in the year 2018, with a Demo – “Unholy Desecration” – released by Signal Rex. 2019 saw the band, now signed with Iron Bonehead, release a burst of mammoth dimensions onto the Black Metal scene.
“Liturgia da Blasfémia” was released on the 1st of February 2019 and, in my honest opinion, will categorically cement Graves’ position and relevance in the ever growing Portuguese Black Metal scene. Graves gave us, the listener, a stronger and filthier perspective of Black Metal, but do not let yourself be fooled: this is not a monochromatic Black Metal offering. In any way! The number of layers and twisted melodies that swirl throughout the 9 songs that compose the album release various scents, various “tones” of Black Metal.
Nordic influence is well present and, added to Portuguese words, gives the music a frightful atmosphere that grab you, and fiercely nail you to the chair in awe. Savage discharges of ferocious devilish sound are the main purpose of this Portuguese act. Moments of great speed, resembling the classic approach to Black Metal that most of us grew up listening to, to the mid-paced transitions that allow you to take a deep breath and hold tight for the ravaging liberation of the bands’ Black Metal infused core. The vocal production, not lost amongst the instruments but, not over them as well, is there to haunt the audiophile. The melodic guitar riffs that place me, mentally, in a dark mountain surrounded by massive trees that hide the path of Light.
Overall, “Liturgia da Blasfémia” has proven to be one hell of an album! Iron Bonehead has, once again, presented us with a more than solid piece of Black Metal and, for my great joy, a Portuguese band! (DanielP)