Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Graveland- Raise Your Sword ! (2001)

Raise Your Sword !  is a three track EP by Graveland. In all likelihood the contents are a trio of leftovers from the Creed of Iron recordings. All the primary elements are the same. These are big, epic tracks that center on heavy riffs, wild percussion and lush synths. The lyrical theme is once again the honor and nobility of the Pagan warrior and the glory of battle.

If Raise Your Sword ! is indeed composed of castoffs, then Rob did a good job during the final cut for Creed of Iron. Only “Wobjęcia Śmierci” is of the same caliber as the songs found on Creed of Iron. The first two tracks are low on energy and lack memorable riffs. “Till the Final Day” is especially weak. It is a slow moving piece that fails in its attempt to create an epic atmosphere. “Temple of My Hatred” is a little stronger; a dark piece that teases the listener with brief moments of epic melodies only to shift back into dingy, menacing riffs. It also begins and ends with stellar stretches of beautiful synth work. Still, it essentially qualifies as a weaker version of “White Beasts of Wotan”. Finally, “Wobjęcia Śmierci”—a Polish version of the track “Into Death’s Arms” from the Raiders of Revenge split with Honor— provides some real quality. The main riff packs some serious force and the male choir samples create an intense atmosphere. The song steadily builds toward an excellent chorus full of swirling string samples and pounding bass drums. The production is sharper here than it is on the Raiders of Revenge split, making this the superior revision of the song.

Raise Your Sword ! is a decent listen, but only “Wobjęcia Śmierci” qualifies as essential listening. The other two tracks don’t offer anything new and fail to excel with what they do offer. This is worth tracking down if you really love Graveland's symphonic works, but this is far from Rob's best moment. 

Overall: 7/10

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