Saturday, March 10, 2012

Graveland- Drunemeton (1992)

Graveland’s third demo, Drunemeton, is in some respects an improvement over Rob's prior two releases, but in another respect it even more annoying. On the positive side, a number of aspects of the Graveland sound are starting to develop. For one, the production is a little more open. The first two demos are extremely tight and cluttered, but Drunemeton has a more expansive sound. This helps build a little more atmosphere. Second, Rob has dropped the deep, gurgled vocals, opting instead for a husky black metal rasp. Third, the riffs are a little less industrial and a little more metallic. Fourth, Rob continues to show improvement on the synth. The tacky four note melodies of the prior demos have been replaced by more lush, symphonic keys that actually give the music some mood. In the case of “The Forest of Nemeton” the lead synth is actually quite haunting and moving—worthy of the Graveland moniker!

On the downside, the industrial drum machine is still in place—only now it is quite out of place. For example, the drum machine is whipping the same high-hat note at 100 MPH on “The Eyes of Balor” while the band is playing at about 2/3 the speed. Also the drum machine is so damn loud that it is hard to hear anything else. While the ambiance is slightly improved on Drunemeton, the songwriting is still basically non-existent. Most of the metal tracks consist of one progression repeated over and over. This demo relies far too much on ambiance to compensate for the absence of composition. 

While Drunemeton sounds a little more like the Graveland we all know and love than its predecessors, it is ultimately just another lousy, poorly put together demo. Some of the pure ambient pieces might manage to raise the hair on your arms, but most of this demo is simply sedating. 

Overall: 3.5/10

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