Graveland is a legendary Polish band that most black metal fans surely know. The personal project of Rob Darken (who has also Lord Wind) is active since 1992 and this is the eleventh full-length album. The band has also released 4 EPs, a couple of split albums as well as many demos. Rob Darken has been very productive all these years releasing something new very often. Graveland begun as a pure raw black metal band, but they have eventually added some epic synths and their music got a more Viking / pagan approach through the years.
“Spears of Heaven” won’t surprise Graveland’s fans, because nothing has changed since their previous album “Will Stronger Than Death”: raw epic black metal with an average production that fits the atmosphere of the album. The characteristic synths and the choirs by Atlantean Monumental Choir and Ancient Valkyrian Choir are still there, but not as extended as in some previous works. Both synths and choirs are mainly in the background accompanying the guitars, rather than carrying out the lead melodies. The album has a more raw epic rhythmic approach, being mid-paced most of the time. As always, Darken performs everything on his own and this time the sound (especially in the drums) is much improved. There are seven long songs in this album and all the lyrics are in English, dealing with Viking mythological themes.
The album is once again released by No Colours Records and Rob Darken (with some help of course) did an amazing job in the illustration of the cd. Except for the beautiful cover artwork, the booklet is full of amazing drawings and photos. The album is released in normal jewel case, as well as in a limited to 1000 pieces A5 digipak that I totally recommend. “Spears of Heaven” is a typical album of the band, not their best or their worst, but a good work for sure. It will most probably satisfy their fans, but in my opinion a bit of refreshment could work for Graveland, since there are some signs of repetition. If you have never listened to their music and you like raw epic black metal (ala Bathory) this is a good album to start. You can also visit their official pages on the links below.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos