Review: GRÁ “Väsen”

Review: GRÁ “Väsen”

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GRÁ Väsen
Carnal Records

On the 27th of April 2018, Swedish Black Metal band GRÁ released Väsen, their third album via Carnal Records. The Väsen CD is available now, with the vinyl edition to be released in a short while.

Heljarmadr from DARK FUNERAL mixed, mastered, played lead guitar, keyboard and acoustic guitar. To finish off the stellar contribution, the vocals too, busy chap! Drums were handled by the very competent Dimman, Rhythm guitar by Maugrim and Bass guitar by Vediger.

Väsen was produced over a two year period in their home country and interestingly, the album is touted as ‘the first piece in the second era of GRÁ’. The mix is dynamic without any particular surprises. All instruments can be heard easily, including the bass guitar! Just as well as this group of musicians know what they’re doing and I wouldn’t want to miss a note in Väsen.

8 tracks playing over 41 minutes. Here’s a few of the highlights.

Track 3, Hveðrungs Mær – Spoken word with choirs lament… The opener gives way to an adante melody that blends arpeggio and melodically grinding riffs brilliantly. Vocals are spat with a malice that is realized (super)-naturally and in parts is complimented beautifully with a deeper growl. The vocals capture a sense of pride too, I feel it… Drums enter a skipping groove that really adds to the overall sonic landscape as vocals chant with a hate.

Track 4, Krig – at 7 minutes long, this is one of two tracks that break their 4 minute rule. No problem, this track holds my attention easily… Guitars that place high on the register conjure a grim and grinding riff for us whilst the bass can be heard plodding methodically and menacingly. Keyboards give a simple but effective menace to Krig. A sample that must mean ‘ready, aim, fire’ in Swedish makes way for our main riff and works perfectly to paint a picture which ties in with Alex Torvenius’s album artwork. Well done Alex, this album cover is perfectly suited.

Track 8, Väsen – obviously their title track, not just by name but by the absolute quality. The audio image built here is excellent, grabbing you and pulling you down into their world – that’s what music is all about in the end.

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