Graveworm - (N)utopia
The Nuclear Blast based Italian band Graveworm has recently completed their fifth full-length album, (N)utopia, and it's their second album on the German label. The band has been very busy during the years. Not less than ten releases have passed since the first demo release back in -97. Including several Mcd, Cd and Videotapes. (N)utopia was recorded with Andy Classen at Stage One Studios, Borgentreich in Germany.
When I heard the Engraved In Black album, I thought of Graveworm as possible usurpers to take over the scene after bands such as Dimmu Borgir and C.O.F. After listening to (N)utopia, I'm not so certain about that anymore. In the first song I-The Machine, the band show that they have more than just sweet keyboard melodies to offer. Except the introducing riff on this song they show a real doze of serious melancholy, and above all it's heavy - an ingredient that all to often is a missing link in this kind of symphonic metal. The vocals from Stefan Fiori make me think of bands like Hypocrisy and even Samael during the Passage era, especially on the second song, where the parallels to Samael´s Passage album are very clear. Good vocals in other words, great growling combined with the characteristic and lighter voice.
The music continues with the heavy Hateful Design. This
one is a fist in the face. More Metal and Core than orchestral arrangements.
This album had been a real good one if this vibes had continued but
unfortunately it doesn't. The music falls back in what I would call
a grey zone, with very low tempo. Gothic in a way and sometimes beautiful,
but I get the feeling that I want something to happen. But the music
just continues in a perfect straight line. A bit boring actually. The
sum of it all must be that it starts promising but soon the music fades
out to something that is neither good nor bad. It feels overproduced
in a way; more intensity and attitude are some of the things that I
miss on this album.