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Gribberiket - Knefall [Records Of The Fleshgod - 2013]

Gribberiket is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 2008, but as far as I know this "Knefall" tape, released by Oslo-based label Records Of The Fleshgod, is their first physical output.

What we have here is raw, bizarre, noisy, intoxicated doom/black metal, exuding desperation and uneasiness from every filthy grain of sound. In fact it's stuff that will appeal more easily for those into experimental/noisy material rather than classic black metal.
The opening and title track is a slow, lengthy ( sixteen minutes!) descent into mangled and crippled black metal matter. Simple, redundant and impending drumming carries the weight of repetitive and doomish riffing, paired by dissonant and oblique guitar shredding, multiple-source painful vocals and primitive synths. The piece periodically varies in speed and some parts are more noisy and liquified, giving it a strange psychedelic vibe. The second number of the set, "Høst", features a quite catchy and again proto-doomish main guitar riff, and the same deranged mix of sounds. I especially appreciated the combination of demonic shrieks and more clean recited vocals.

"Steinene" is the real gem of the tape in my opinion: eerie folk acoustic guitars not far from Ulver or Drudkh's most inspired pagan moments are accompanied by primitively medieval sparse percussions and inhuman, desperate shrieking. Amazing and completely grotesque. "Reisen Til Nattes Ende", besides calling to mind Celine's famous "Journey To The End Of The Night" book, is an inexorably slow nine minutes piece of pure black/doom dread. Two and possibly more layers of heavily echoed vocals bounce, fight, scream and chant over a basic low frequency-dominated doom riff punctuated by a dissonant, floating guitar and bizarre noises. It's the most drunken track of the tape, so much that it in fact reminded me a bit of G.G. Allin's ventures in improvised scum rock.

The closing track, "De Bleke" is another exercise in the same matter. The multiple and variegated vocals (this time coming even with Darkthrone-like drunken wailing) steal the scene, and a particularly effective and dirty bass line plus excellent atmospheric synth tones make this number a worthy conclusion to a good tape.

"Knefall" is definitely a good work and it made me long for more. It's hard to explain, but Gribberiket's sound is so wrong that it becomes right, and it's a pleasure to get lost in their total, uncomfortable mess. It's very noisy and raw so it's not for everybody, but those who can stomach this kind of stuff will surely find much to appreciate.
Gribberiket's effort is available both on tape (which comes with a nice patch) and as digital download on the label's Bandcamp page, so there's really no excuse not to give it at least a listen:here

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Nicola Vinciguerra
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