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Grabunhold – Heldentod

grabunhold – heldentod

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Grabunhold’s (Grave-fiend) most recent full length album “Heldentod” (Heroic Death) is a masterpiece of Tolkien themed Black Metal. The three-piece band hailing from Dortmund, Germany have slowly been building up to this work with a demo and follow-up EP since 2017, only unveiling this weighty 46 minute work of fantasy entrancement last year in 2021.

Opening with adroit and relaxing acoustic work set to atmospheric thunder elements, the opening riffs immediately call to mind mid-90s Emperor such as ‘Anthem’s to the Welkin at Dusk’, but none too similar as to detract from this majestic experience. Soaring trem solos juxtaposed against highly listenable vocals provide a layered wall of sound, backed by mid-paced and determined drums. No monotony is to be found across any elements, even vocals changing style at least once per song to break up the narrative, painting an even more rich tapestry of sound. These range from throaty ballads, spoken word interludes, menacing shrieks, and orcish growls.

Sporadic dungeon synth tracks provide brief respite from the onslaught of sounds, relaxing in their pace and auras, before the cavalcades of metal once again descend upon the listener.

Standing head and shoulders above the rest of the tracks on this album is most certainly ‘Flammen and Schatten’ (Flames and Shadow), a blissful journey of uplifting trem riffs that delve into the darkest depths of the mines of Middle Earth itself.

Although the album tends to drag on in prodigious fashion, one never gets the sense of derivative music or uninspired writing, each piece well balanced with the preceding song. Overall one truly aspires to become even more immersed in this realm the longer the tracks wear on. The final atmospheric entry on this work closes out the journey in an ultimately fulfilling fashion with extraordinarily immersive sampling and ambience.

Grabunhold has successfully woven the very spirit of high fantasy with great craft, honor and distinction in the traditions of Windir, Summoning, Abigor and Immortal. (Xenomorph)

Grabunhold

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