Old Graves – Long Shadows

Long Shadows is the first full length for Old Graves, solo project of Canadian musician Colby Hink. Those who appreciate that atmospheric and poignant variant of black metal in which many people try their hand, often with excellent results (in Italy we remember Chiral, while at an absolute level we can not fail to mention the last magnificent work by ColdWorld), can not help but find satisfaction in this fifty minutes in which a hint of melancholy hovers even in the most apparently harsh moments. Nothing new, of course, but everything is performed with skill and above all, a remarkable inspiration, able to make every step of the work functional to the final outcome. The opener Sumas is enough to make us fall in love with this new reality coming from across the ocean, in particular from a Canada that turns out to be a particularly fertile land when searching for sounds of this kind, maybe also by virtue of the majesty of a nature very similar to the one that has inspired in the past the works of Scandinavian musicians. Excluding a small flaw, as usual on similar occasions, at the production level, that is a voice that in the most convulsive moments is swallowed up by the other instruments, there is really nothing to complain about the success of Long Shadows: each song has melodic lines that creep into the mind of the listener avoiding banality; the work of Colby Hink is exalted especially in the guitar work, where he excels both in the acoustic phases and in the linear but effective electric solos. To be mentioned, in addition to another beautiful song like To Die, or Bear the Burden of Death, the magnificent instrumental Walpurgisnacth, perfect example of how, all in all, in this genre the use of vocals is less necessary than in others. Old Graves does not betray how much evoked by the moniker, giving with Long Shadows a disc to listen without hesitation, especially for those who love a band like Agalloch, with which there are several similarities both when the sound opens in an atmospheric sense, both in passages that lead back to a folk traits rather dark.

2016 – Naturmacht Productions