|Review: Graveland - Carpathian Wolves|
Label: No Colours Records
Year released: 1994
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: April 21, 2011
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Rated 3.66/5 (73.1%) (29 Votes)
Though not as grim you might imagine, the full-length debut (after a string of demos) for underground darlings Graveland is your typical stroll through black forests after midnight, with the moon shining down in all its nocturnal glory. With a guitar tone that could cut shackles, Carpathian Wolves is just what you'd expect from an early nineties Black Metal release, pretty far away from the epic nature of Rob Darken's later works, sounding more like Immortal or early Emperor than anything he's done in the last ten years. There is a nice use of keyboards to keep things atmospheric, and more melody is used throughout than you might have otherwise guessed by looking at the cover. Compositions like "Impaler Of Wallachia" and "Unpunished Herd" are blasts of cold, icy remorse, whilst after the creepy intro, first proper track "Barbarism Returns" takes a slower, more dirge-like path that works well to bring the expectations of the album to the fore.
I've found myself going back to this on a number of occasions, but while it is suitably evil (and Darken sounds really mad here, which is always a bonus), it's not all that memorable, just a kind of comfortable white (or should that be black?) noise that shows the beginnings of real talent. Graveland newcomers should maybe begin elsewhere, but if you're looking for a decent example of kvlt Polish Black Metal, Carpathian Wolves will serve you well.
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