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Granitader – Der Wald Zwischen Den Welten

granitader – der wald zwischen den welten


As an analyst and close follower of the Black Metal scene in the past quarter of a century or so, it pleases me that, in recent years, I am seeing a clear development that tilts German Black Metal out of the shady corners of the genre. For many years, especially in the late 90’s and early 00’s, German Black Metal has been ridiculed and hardly been taken seriously. Lost of that had to do with the questionable reputation of bands like Eisregen and Mystic Circle and their label, Last Episode. Even in the deeper regions of the Germany Black Metal scene there was a lot of discussion going on, not everybody took a band like Moonblood or especially Nargaroth completely serious. In hindsight, things might be taken a bit too much out of context and over time, we can now disconnect the silliness of these bands and their performances from the thing that matters most: the music.

If we leave those roaring 90’s behind and fast forward to 2024, it is a relief to see (and, moreover, hear) that a lot of things indeed did change. In the past few years a lot of great bands emerged from the ever-thriving German Extreme Metal scene. The bands might not get the same sort of recognition as their counterparts from Scandinavia for instance, but certainly more than a good few bands reared their heads – hell, even Mystic Circle themselves re-emerged.

In the wake of bands like Horn, Heimdalls Wacht, Waldgeflüster and, a bit more recent, Erzfeynd now also comes Granitader. A German Melodic/Pagan Black Metal band that wears its native origin proudly on its sleeves. Granitader’s sense for heroic sounding grandeur and epic splendour is not much unlike country mates like Falkenbach and the aforementioned Horn, while also maintaining a good base of more regressive and blazing sort of Black Metal. The dynamism in the use of using the more standard flaming and blasting Black Metal with the grand Folky and Pagan kind of melodies and chanting makes Granitader fit just in between all those bands mentioned before.

While lots of the older German bands in this same niche spiritually felt closer to Bathory’s most notable Viking-themed albums, like Nachtfalke and Morrigan, Granitader clearly finds itself more in the Falkenbach territories. Taking those same long drawn-out melodies, acoustic strumming, dual-vocals or epic chanting. They all go hand in hand with the Folky nature of the music, together evoking a feeling of times of yore and a true admiration of the grandness of nature. This way, mainly due to the more hooky riffs and German lyrics, Granitader stays away from the more dreamy, atmospheric and overall more sophisticated and refined regions of bands like Drudkh. In return there is this distinctive German Black Metal aura around it, something that you possible just either love or hate, but that unmistakably fits perfectly into the frame of Granitader’s musical visions.

As a whole, ‘Der Wald Zwischen Den Welten’ turns out to be a solid debut album, of which especially the first half of the full 45 minutes convinces, but of which the positive feeling is mostly held high by a (misplaced or not) sense of nostalgia and personal yearning for those bygone years around the turn of the millennium. I guess it is quite obvious that I enjoyed the melodic and epic ride that the band provides, but regardless of my own personal opinion and musical preferences, I am glad that bands like Granitader further build on getting their native scene back on the global Black Metal map.

Purity Through Fire

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