Gra’ -Helfard
Sonic Death Armageddon Records

Review Haiku:
From the Womb ov Night Comes two
Cursed 13 – Spazmosity
Haunting Hymns ov Gra’

I know I’ve said it before but I will praise them again and again… The Swedes just have this innate talent and ability to produce some ov the most epic Metal! I have been feeling the effects ov these Nordic winds for years as they just seem to gain momentum as time moves on.  Here is yet another Project from the land ov Odin and Thor which propels this icy cold wind ov Black Metal even further around the planet spreading this chill all over the world directly from the womb ov night and into our cold hearts and darkened minds.

Heljarmaðr (Cursed 13) and Dimman (Spazmosity) produce a double edged sword which impales even the blackest ov hearts. The discography is decent with a primitive, dark and gothic appeal. The picture disc depicts the inverted Pentagram/Baphomet sigil which speaks volumes in and ov itself.  The album consists ov four songs, all Swedish in title and lyric for the exception ov the 2nd track, “A Coin for Charon” which is  probably my favorite on the album. Consistent Black Metal guitar strumming make for that full sound which gives that unmistakable BM distinction.  And the vocals are filled with that familiar wailing and gnashing ov teeth which we all seem to crave. Musically, I dig the album, and it’s obvious quite a bit ov work went into the project.

My only complaint comes not from the music or overall effect ov the album but rather from their disparaging words they recently publicized on their Site about the U.S.A.  While we have our problems and we may complain about the same issues you complain about concerning us… we really don’t want to hear it… as it’s much like talking about someone’s Mother. It’s like when people say “I can talk trash about my Mom but you talk shit about her and you’ll get your ass kicked!” If you care nothing for U.S. sales then go ahead and call us the “United States of AIDS”, otherwise, at best you will fall into the category ov one ov those bands where we say  “Shut up and sing.”

They also claim that this album is dedicated “to the spirit that existed back in the 90’s when Black Metal actually meant something…”  I know what they are getting at and I’m all about nostalgia but damn… I mean the spirit ov the 90’s may have been great but I hardly feel that this era is a time when Black Metal means “nothing” as this seemingly is what is being insinuated. To me, Black Metal is a timeless treasure… and it is as potent as it’s created to be and sustains itself regardless ov the decade if deserving. ‘Nuff said.

Well, I didn’t intend on this Review taking this direction and I hope it does not take away from the content ov the Review much like their comments unfortunately took away from my overall impression ov the band. I really don’t want to major on that point but damn, even if I wasn’t from the States I just think it’s in bad taste and not all that wise to make public statements such as this when you are an aspiring band hoping for international recognition and album sales. It’s great to have Swedish and Scandinavian pride… I’m all about National Pride…(obviously). Overall the music ov Gra’ left a good impression on me as I am a lover ov Black Metal… be it from the 90’s or what Watain just produced this past year (and who just happen to have won a Grammy!) But I cannot look the other way from the disparaging, derogatory comments which certainly left a bad taste in my mouth. Bottom line, the jams are tasty… but their comments leave a bad aftertaste. Hailz to Gra’ but probably not a good idea to fuck with the U.S.A!

-Will Lovelaw