Grafvitnir exists at the limits of extremity and melody. If one were to plot a simple chart to describe metal, with “Melody” as the X axis, and “Extremity” as the Y, Grafvitnir would be the little dot in the top right corner, with full marks in each category. Yet Grafvitnir doesn’t balance their thirst for convulsing blast beats and throat-shredding vocals and lightning tremolo with their desire for sweet, sweet melodies so much as the two sides battle, warring opposites ripping and clawing and dancing, circling their way around one another, imprisoned in brutal stalemate for the duration of Keys to the Mysteries Beyond. The end result is something that sounds like Storm of the Light’s Bane-era Dissection on amphetamines — and if that sentence sounds appealing, you’d better get listening, bucko.
Editor’s note: Yes, it’s that time of the year again! While our own Album of the Year list is already published by the time you read this, we still have a ton of end of year content for you. Over the coming week, we’ll be exploring 2017 in various of ways: through curated summaries for specific genres, editorials on specific phenomena we found interesting and, of course, guest lists! This time around, we have a band who’s name should by synonymous with metal’s success in 2017: Artificial Brain. Infrared Horizon, their album from this year, is top of the crop in the extremely busy and prolific technical death metal field. With all the releases coming from the sub-genre this year, Artificial Brain still managed to prove they’re a cut above the rest, providing an aggressive, abrasive and yet strangely captivating science fiction masterpiece.
Their list makes a lot of sense, in that regard. It’s chock full of overwhelming and abrasive metal from bands like Aosoth, Thantifaxath and Dying Fetus. But it also includes more beguiling and subtle choices, like Circle or the avant-garde trappings of Fleurety. Thus, you’ll just have to check it out for yourself and see what’s what for Arti-B in 2017!
Well, here we are. We made it, everyone
This week we continue our album of the year deliberations by whittling the list of releases we cared about this year down to an ordered 10 and look back on the year! It was challenging but entertaining, so enjoy!