There’s a coiled serpent on the cover of Graves‘ new album Liturgia da Blasfemia, but these Portuguese black metallers have harnessed a lot of powerful demon horses in their hard-charging sounds, as well as demonstrating fanged striking power and loosing currents of reptilian venom. But this is an album that’s also more nuanced than you might expect. It conveys moods of wrenching misery as well as extravagant ferocity, and as pitch-black as the music usually is, it also includes moments that channel heart-breaking loss and heart-swelling incandescence.
To put it differently, death and desolation loom over the album like the great heartless reaper of souls we have imagined for millennia, but notwithstanding that ever-present shadow, the album is very much a dynamic experience. All the changing moods, and the expert way in which the band ring those changes through memorable riffs, are a big reason why the album is well worth listening to from beginning to end — which is exactly what we’re making it possible for you to do today, just a few days before its February 1 release by Iron Bonehead Productions. Continue reading »