Grá is unleashed.
Formed in 2010 in Sweden by Heljarmadr (vocals/guitar, Dark Funeral, ex-Cursed 13) and Dimman (drums, Veiled, ex-Cursed 13), the band has been quite regularly releasing music. In 2022, and accompanied by Maugrim (guitar, formerly bass, Vargagrav, ex-Cursed 13), Vediger (bass, ex-Cursed 13) and Niklas Ekwall (guitar, Godhead Machinery, Häxmästaren), they announced the release of Lycaon on Avantgarde Music.
White City Devil, the first track, introduces us to epic melodies before the rhythmic and vocals join the mix to create a solid sound and a catchy groove while remaining rooted in a Black Metal with sometimes Pagan/Death influences. The rumbling bass provides the perfect foundation for heady harmonics and saturated vocals, then Flame of Hephaestus Master takes over with a chilling, haunting sound that lets the leads lock us in with their soaring tones. The haunting rhythmic progressively leads us to Torn Asunder, a track on which the rhythmic is more energetic without neglecting the heavy atmosphere which welcomes intense vocal parts, sometimes supported with choirs before coming back to Old School tones with Lycaon, the eponymous track, which goes back to pure aggressiveness. The band will still place some airy lead parts after massive jerky riffs, then the musicians will pay tribute to Bathory with a lively and fast-paced cover of Chariots of Fire, a track letting devastating riffs trample us after a mystic introduction. The band’s style perfectly fits with this wild rage as well as with dark quietness on Ett Avskedsbrev, the next track, which remains quite slow and jerky while letting mystical Scandinavian atmosphere shroud us in its dissonance. The long Brännmärkt lets a disturbing siren accompany a vocal sample before instruments resurface, letting haunting Doom influences meet the rhythmic, which will also host massive vocal parts and a crushing noise which leads us to the final and to Jaw of the Underworld. The apocalyptic sound gradually morphs into a joyful rhythm before delivering us back to chaos.
Rooted in Scandinavian Pagan roots, Grá‘s sound is raw but always melodic and mystical. With Lycaon, the band unveils a riff range which can definitely go from calmness to aggressiveness in no time.