The Swedish Gravkväde have been for several years non-trivial interpreters of funeral doom, to which they add a full-bodied black component that contributes to make even more depressive a sound that in itself would not need special additives, in this sense. Grav|ande is the third full length of this band that, until Grav|aska (2018), had moved as a duo, with the instrumentalist Ezra Nattkaos accompanied by vocalist Domedag, while from there on the lineup has expanded to reach the current conformation with bassist Gravrot. Scrolling backwards through the discography of Gravkväde you can see how, singles apart, the title of all releases includes the suffix grav (tomb), an expedient that characterizes even more the work of the band. Grav|ande represents, in addition to the closing of the trilogy that also includes the previous Grav|ruin (2020), the achievement of a maturity and a compositional thickness that in the previous works emerged intermittently, even in their objective goodness; a possible current element of comparison can be the last Funeralium, even if the passages referable to black metal are strongly affected by the Scandinavian matrix. The despair is also exhibited without filters, but if for the French band is born from the observation of an apocalypse about to fall as a nemesis on mankind, in the Swedes the whole thing assumes almost a philosophical connotation whose result is still fifty minutes of funeral black doom of quality, which draws sap from the teaching of Nortt and then develop in a personal way without sacrificing the introduction of elements environment, sampled voices and openings from the high dramatic rate. Everything is represented in a way mostly devoid of melodic vents, so the listening is as challenging as rewarding, with the magnificent opening track Bortom that stands as an ideal summary of the ability to depict, through music, that despair to which Gravkväde attributed a nature extraneous to mankind, which in this case is used as a vector for its propagation: a disturbing and interesting theory, as is the offer of this notable band.

2022 – GS Productions / Transylvanian Recordings