Honor / Graveland - _Raiders of Revenge_
(Resistance Records, 2001)
by: Alvin Wee (9 out of 10)
While this has been out for some time, tracking down copies of this has been somewhat troublesome for those not in tune with the steadily-growing NSBM scene. Indeed, this slab has seen more than its share of praise since its release months ago, and rightly so. Old-timers Graveland back up a relatively new name in the Polish underground to produce a highly accomplished tribute to pagan pride and war. Don't let the bands' infamous white-power background put you off; the focus of this album seems more centered on fighting Christianity than being overtly NS. Honor are somewhat reluctant to leave their NS-rock influences behind them even on this presumably black metal CD, but the four epic hymns they churn out ultimately have more Graveland than Absurd in them. Which apparently works in their favor: "Antichrist's Hammer" opens up the disc with a highly infectious chorus, displaying Honor's knack for martial tunes and rhythms. Subsequent tracks don't disappoint, with memorably epic riffs often driving the anthems along at an inspiring pace, and the galloping "Invaders" remains one of the most exhilarating tracks I've come across in the genre. The band's decision to sing in Polish and provide English translations pays off well, with the guttural language sounding significantly more brutal and driven than English would have. Graveland's contributions are far less exciting for the simple fact that the three tracks merely reprise the band's past two works. Sprawling, monumental soundscapes are what Graveland excel at creating and the material here bodes well for the band's upcoming album. Haunting atmospheres, uplifting chorals and sinister rasps combine to create a moving work that brands Graveland as a premier formation in the scene. All in all, an essential release for anyone remotely interested in the Polish pagan underground, and one of the most important releases of the genre.

Contact: http://www.resistance.com

(article published 12/8/2001)


ALBUMS
7/27/2007 J Montague 7.5 Graveland - Will Stronger Than Death
1/29/2006 T DePalma 7.5 Graveland - Fire Chariot of Destruction
5/9/2005 J Montague 8.5 Graveland - Dawn of Iron Blades
12/5/2003 J Montague 7 Graveland - Blood of Heroes
11/23/2003 J Montague 9 Graveland - The Fire of Awakening
4/11/2003 M Noll 8 Graveland - Memory and Destiny
3/13/2001 A Wee 7 Graveland - Creed of Iron
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