No this is not a Black Metal band, in fact this is not even a Folk Metal band. I just had to get that out of the way before starting this review. You see, these guys hail from Norway and wonder above wonder, they do not play Black Metal, but rather a great energetic form of Heavy/Power Metal. Quite a refreshing band in many ways, at least as far as the Norwegian scene is concerned.
GRIFFIN formed in 1998, with this being their fourth full length. I really enjoyed the more Thrashy style found on their debut “Wasteland Serenades”, so I had high expectations for this release. Overall this is a slower album with melodies that don’t always revel themselves after one or two listens – you have to graft a little before this stuff will grab you, but once it does there is now turning back!
After a short opener we dive headfirst into “Rest”, a song with a truly great opening riff and amazing vocals by Pete Beck. A great way to kick off proceedings! The next song features Lemmy-like vocals and is another scorcher. The next two tracks, “Recipe For Rage” and “Utopia”, are two bummers unfortunately, but the we get “Dungeon”, a faster song with great Jekyll ‘n Hyde lyrics. The title track features more excellent vocals and some very memorable melodies at the mark. My copy also contains a bonus track, “Unforgiver”, that features none other than Andy LaRoque (who also produced this album) on guitar.
Overall this is a solid album from a band that seems to be overlooked simply because they don’t really fit in with many people’s perception of the Norwegian scene. Pete Beck is an outstanding vocalist (plus he’s got one ass-kicking beard!) and he really carries these songs forward, together with the solid guitar partnership of Nergaard and Naustvoll. You really should give this band a chance, they deserve it. (Online July 2, 2006)