Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Graveborne: Pure Negativity (2011)


As you may have noticed, I can be pretty harsh toward some of the bands that give me review copies of their albums. As a rule, I'm not easily impressed, and I don't cut anybody any slack just because they're unsigned or on a tiny label I've never heard of before. I pick the nits. So, you can be sure it means something when I tell you Finland's Graveborne fucking rocks.

When I say "rock", I don't mean they're playing some kind of black 'n' roll, because they don't. It's pure, aggressive black metal without prefix or suffix. But they do it with such style, and such memorable riffs, that they can only be compared to the two hardest-rocking modifier-free black metal bands out there: Immortal and Watain.

Graveborne establish this basic, high-energy approach to black metal from the outset. Opener "Metamorphoses" doesn't start with some pansy orchestral intro, but immediately crushes skulls. And throughout the album, you can hear picking techniques or strange rhythms that could have been pulled from At the Heart of Winter. Yes, that comparison implies a strong recommendation. It's not dug quite as deep, but it's in the same graveyard.

The Verdict: Pure Negativity commands your attention, and sticks in your head, keeping you coming back for more. This is some very cool black metal in a traditional mold. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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