Graugeist is the solo project of Sarghas from the southwestern German state of Saarland, a musician and vocalist who is also a member of Immorior, Nýr Gata, and Stardust. Graugeist is the new name of a project originally called Mirai. Under the Mirai name Sarghas released a four-song debut EP entitled Makkura in 2020. Under the new name, Graugeist will release a debut album named Heaven Denies near the end of April through Void Wanderer Productions and Kvlt and Kaos Productions.
That Makkura EP (here) is startling to hear. With hyper-voltage power it combines electrifying riffing that’s both scathing and sweeping, thunderous rhythmic momentum, the kind of torrential screaming that puts the hair up on the back of your neck, and monstrous roaring — but part of what makes it startling is that Mirai brought into play a kind of elaborate elegance in the guitar- and keyboard-work.
The music was thus simultaneously a breathtaking maelstrom with a lot of visceral punch and a near-theatrical pageant, interweaving glorious and enthralling melodies that sometimes seemed connected to traditions of many centuries past. The sound was raw and scorching, and the vocals were also relentlessly incinerating, but the music also rang almost clear at vital moments, and the intricacy of the songcraft made every song an eye-opening trip.
That experience would be enough to kindle anticipation and intrigue for the debut full-length of Graugeist, and we have the first sign of Heaven Denies in the song from the album we’re premiering today — “Forward the Doom“.
Like the preceding EP, this new song is a multi-faceted affair. The opening riff and drum-work create a scene of feral, swaggering menace, but again Sarghas brings in high-flying melodies of panoramic scope and dire emotional effect (along with those scalding, acid-bath vocals, often doubled for heightened impact).
In keeping with the music on Makkura, there are classical and ancient-music influences in the elaborate instrumental maneuvers, as well as sounds of strings and flute and old folk-music stylings in the mix as well, to go along with all the black-metal viciousness and an overarching air of melancholy. Or at least, that’s how we hear it.
And so you might say the song has one foot in raw black metal, another foot in what some would call “medieval black metal”, and a third foot in depressive black metal, with maybe a few toes touching death metal.
The album will be released by Void Wanderer (cassette tape) and Kvlt and Kaos (CD) on April 28th, and pre-orders will be available soon via the links below. The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Sarghas in 2022, and features cover art by VHAN Artworks & Printing and a logo by Moonroot Logos.