Review: At the lightening of sky to blue the first torch is lit and put to the ship, which is harnessed to the horses and whipped to ride with deathfaces above through the primal darkness, sending seagulls and ground creatures scattering in the wilding disintegration into what remains of the ancient forest fringed by shattered metal and waste of a civilization decomposing the core of atoms with its greed. Flames whiten the leaves and galloping hooves pound mud into tiny castles as the world is left behind and a spirit departs to eternity, leaving survivors alone to cope with the growing sameness and aging of the world in hopelessness. As a memory and encouragement of the epic spirit of pagan Europe the musician behind Graveland offers a symphonic arrangement of synthesized instruments and vocal samples in neoclassical aestheticism in a Wagnerian literalism with ideological intent.
Underneath that functional cloaking is much the same of what made Graveland great: epic, lengthy melodies unfolding into nearly-ecclesiastical tone-centric phrases looping as textures shift to give context to radical destruction and change. Its themes are grand and mideval but its message of complexity arising from simplicity is clear: in a technological age, the hierarchy of elites has shifted from those who have skills to those who have conceptual skills. Concepts emerge over repetition of several major themes throughout the work, showing a fluid connection between passages of music in a language of recombinant moods. Formed from passages of combined mood-setting chorus work and mutating phrases which set up harmonic infrastructure, unfolding corridors of implied melodic continuity lead the listener through a hallucinogenic, epic, battle of abstract themes.
The spirit in these melodies is that of reversal and release, in the context of a mood ringing with grim determination for finality and loss. Its concept of grandeur consists of natural and simple patternings arranged across a scalar pattern to form resonance around vital tones of a central melody. Iterative constructions of similar melodies, and cross-evoked themes between pieces, present a foundational resonance for the literature that builts metaphor and sound into atmospheric enclave of thought, in which freedom for the soul is possible and warfare to resurrect ancient values seems inevitable. Some reviewers have reported thinking intensely of trees, arrayed in forests around an earth free of human domination, upon repeated listening.
The conflict of hope and structure over the illogical and entropic creates a journey of a universal character who more than evading obstacles evolves to make them obsolete, a twisting tribute to permutation within nature and human consciousness inspiring an aesthetic of majesty in conflict and determination toward resolution. The ancient and the modern meet in this focused pulsing of ambient sound which demonstrates its ideals in connection with the primal desire in any human being for something great and enduringly brave, bold and honest in its values.