Released: 2016, Daemon Worship Productions
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Everything about this album seems like it should be more interesting than it actually is. You’ve got a seemingly mystical band name with a whole lot of consonants jammed next to each other where the wouldn’t ordinarily be, you’ve got a mysterious set of band members who are practicing Luciferian occultists, who will in fact tell you their names but not what instruments they play, and you’ve got an album cover that looks like a Shel Silverstein illustration after an acid trip.
But Grafvitnir’s OBESIANCE TO A WITCH MOON is about as white bread as you can get with a black metal album. “Lightbringer” sounds just like Dark Funeral’s “Ravenna Strigoi Mortii”, “The Great Beast” sounds like it was pulled from mid-90’s Marduk, “Wrath of the Tempest” has Immortal written all over it, and you start to see where this is going. And as the album progresses, you find yourself wondering if these are the same four riffs repurposed upside down and inside out, track after track?
Look, I get it – the Black Metal scene is super crowded and it’s hard to do anything that sounds remotely original right now. But plenty of bands manage to do just that, or at least refurbish an old formula with a fresh coat of paint to keep it interesting. Grafvitnir sound content to ride the beast that is mediocrity straight into the pits of hell, with no deviations or sightseeing along the way. I really wanted to like OBESIANCE TO A WITCH MOON, really…I did.