Graveland - In The Glare of Burning Churches [Forever Plagued Records - 2009]“In The Glare of Burning Churches” is another slice of bizarre, grim & often off-kilter atmospheric mix of: raw/low-fi blacked metal, morbid synth work, cluttering & overloaded drum machine work, and genreal creative yet grim blacked metal from this prolific polish one man project
This is another reissue of the projects early work on Forever Plagued Records- the album was orinally released in cassette demo form back in 1993. This reissue from 2009 brings together an alternative rawer more extreme version of the demo, along with a hand-full of bonus tracks from around the same time to make up a great grim full length.
The album starts off in a very odd fashion with the title track's introduction which is a mixture of cod medieval music, the sound of burning buildings, and a women screaming over & over- this goes on for about a minute & a half, then we drop into wonderful spiteful & speedy raw black metal attack that has this almost backwards sounding fairground like organ rising ever so often from the battering lo-fied mix of truly extreme ranted & screamed black metal vocals, blacked almost hardcore meets black metal guitar raging, and runaway drum machine attack.
The rest of the albums 11 tracks swing from mid-paced blacked metal ‘n’ majestic yet slightly wavering synth marches, onto grim instrumentals that weave together deeply sombre late 70’s or early 80’s synth lines or church organ like funeral marches. Or morbid lo-fi chopping electronica & wonky neo classical mixes, which are lined with horror effects. Through to more spiteful & speedy galloping up paced raw blacked metal attacks, which like the first track have the odd wavering rise of morbid synth banks or sudden drops into just creepy gothic synth or grim church organ drifts.
The album as a whole offers up a nice mix of track pace, and though it’s not as off-kilter as “Drunemeton”- one of the other Graveland reissues we reviewed recently, theres enough odd & creative edges here to make it an enjoyable often quirky & rewarding grim ride.Roger Batty