Graveworm
As The Angels Reach The Beauty


4.5
superb

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
October 5th, 2007 | 42 replies | 11,234 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Graveworm's finest hour. Classical instrumentation, mournful melodies, all wrapped in a goth/black metal atmosphere.

The melody of a cello, violins, and bag pipes fill the air, creating a sense of mourning, yet strangely uplifting at the same time. After a few moments, the rolling sound of percussion fades in to complement the strings and bag pipes. Together they continue to create this feeling of loss, as if something horribly wrong has just occurred. This may sound like the description of a song taken from the movie Braveheart, but it’s not. This description is from the beginning of the sophomore release by Graveworm called As Angels Reach the Beauty

It would have only taken a few more seconds of listening to realize that this is no Mel Gibson movie soundtrack. After a few moments of that mournful melody, the deep growls of vocalist Stefano Fiori suddenly come in over raging guitars and the sudden roll of double bass. As if that wasn’t enough, after a few more moments he also unleashes some very sinister sounding black metal vocals as well as continuing the deep growl he began with. All the while the original melodies from the violins, cello, and bag pipes continue to play along side the riffs. Throughout the seven minutes that is “A Dreaming Beauty” the song moves from fast paced Black Metal sections to slower more Goth Metal sections, while constantly retaining the beautiful melodies of the violins and keyboards, contrasting well with the multi-faceted vocals creating an atmosphere of mourning and anger.

That feeling of mourning and anger permeates throughout this entire album. Whereas on future releases Graveworm would turn to darker, more sinister sounding moods, on this one it radiates with sadness. A lot of that has to do with an aspect of the band that they would move away from in future releases, the use of real stringed instruments and the larger use of classically inspired arrangements. The next song, “Portrait of a Deadly Nightshade,” continues on with that feeling perfectly. This song is a mid-paced song that really couldn’t be linked to Black Metal at all, if not for the vocals. It has some very somber piano, keyboard, and violin melodies; it’s these melodies that are in constant flux that give this song a feeling of movement despite the slower pace of the song. The guitars simply chug along in the background, content to allow the other instruments to set the mood for the song.

Following a very sad instrumental consisting of rolling percussion, bag pipes, piano, and keyboards, is one of the best songs on the album, “Nocturnal Hymns”. The song starts with a single guitar melody and some keyboards before being accompanied by a fast riff and both the deep and Black Metal vocal styles playing off each other. Soon after that, it slows down to allow for both guitarists to engage in some leads that wouldn’t sound out of place on an old In Flames album. Once it speeds up again it gets to the part of the song that words can’t really describe. Out of nowhere mournful sounding keyboards and violins appear and Stefano’s black metal vocals never sound so anguished; it truly is one of the few songs that consistently elicits an emotional reaction from me. From there it goes into a faster guitar harmony, before slowing down completely with just keyboards, violins and a cello creating such a feeling of sorrow that it really does get to me almost every time.

It really is the skill in which emotion is presented within this album that sets it apart from other Black Metal releases, including their own. In addition to the emotion, it is also the various movements within each song that allows it to never become tedious, and also allows the whole album to never start sounding like a blur. As the album proceeds, they continue to make great use of all the instruments available to them from violins and cellos to pianos and bag pipes, as well as some great guitar harmonies; all of which they would begin to move away from on future releases. Despite the mournful nature of the album and the slower pace (for Black Metal) of a lot of the material, this album is not without any of the aggression that those who like their new stuff have come to expect. A song like, “Prophecies in Blood” is as fast and aggressive as anything they’ve done since, but it still retains the various movements and details found on this album including clean guitar parts, mournful keyboards, and great melodies.

This album truly is the best that Graveworm has ever put out due to the emotional nature of the songs, the additional instruments that were skillfully used, and the great song writing that allowed each song to have an identity of its own. Anyone who has only heard the new stuff by Graveworm owes it to themselves to track this down and get it, because they won’t be let down. This album also has a lot of crossover potential, as well, for people not normally into Black Metal due to the professional way that the classical influences were used, the liberal use of guitar melodies, as well as the decreased emphasis on speed and aggression compared to a lot of their contemporaries.



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
October 5th 2007



15878 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Basically, this is Graveworm's best album in my opinion... but if you're looking for more aggression then their later ones are the better place to start.This Message Edited On 10.10.07

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Crimson
October 5th 2007



1935 Comments


Very good review, I need more Graveworm, and this sounds great.

BallsToTheWall
October 5th 2007



44164 Comments


Good review mate. I would get this now but I already got their new disk first, and I need about 10 other cds overall.


That Anacrusis stuff i got from their site is pretty sick.This Message Edited On 10.05.07

Tyler
Emeritus
October 5th 2007



7928 Comments


The songs on this album that I've heard sounded like Cradle of Filth for little girls.

Willie
Moderator
October 5th 2007



15878 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

The songs on this album that I've heard sounded like Cradle of Filth for little girls.
Why am I not surprised?
Very good review, I need more Graveworm, and this sounds great.
Yeah, this is pretty much my favorite one from them.
That Anacrusis stuff i got from their site is pretty sick.
They're one of my favorite bands... and I love having people check them out since all their music is free now (legally).


Tyler
Emeritus
October 5th 2007



7928 Comments


Why am I not surprised?

It just seemed so corny and convoluted.

Willie
Moderator
October 5th 2007



15878 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

It could come off that way due to the nature of the melodies if that isn't your thing, but any comparison to CoF is slim at best. It just seems like people use the Cradle comparison when they want to slam a band whose melodies seem overly "syrupy" (among other reasons). This Message Edited On 10.05.07

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2007



16263 Comments


Just listened to a couple songs off that myspace page, and this sounds greatThis Message Edited On 10.05.07

Digging: Ulver - Bergtatt

Willie
Moderator
October 5th 2007



15878 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

It really is... if you liked any of their others then you'll probably like this one the most.

BallsToTheWall
October 5th 2007



44164 Comments


Great album cover, but seriously.. i'm on a graveworm tear. Cannot belive I never heard these guys before.

Zoo
October 6th 2007



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Behind the Curtain of Darkness and Graveyard of Angels are pretty nasty tracks.

Willie
Moderator
October 6th 2007



15878 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Are you sure the other track is "Graveyard of Angels"? That song is just a two minutes violin track...

Wizard
October 6th 2007



19239 Comments


Willie, you certainly have a great writing style that is clear and concise. Your reviews are enjoyable to read and this one is no different. I've heard a few tracks by these guys and they just didn't do it for me. I will, however, check this album out in its entirety.

Digging: Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts

Eakflanderyof
October 6th 2007



2143 Comments


Eh, these guys are kinda boring.

Zoo
October 6th 2007



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=WillieFisterBut]Are you sure the other track is "Graveyard of Angels"? That song is just a two minutes violin track...[/quote]

Yes. I know.

Willie
Moderator
October 7th 2007



15878 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Willie, you certainly have a great writing style that is clear and concise. Your reviews are enjoyable to read and this one is no different. I've heard a few tracks by these guys and they just didn't do it for me. I will, however, check this album out in its entirety.
Yeah, I can see how some people might think that they're just kind of boring because there's not always a lot going on with the guitars and a lot of the songs on this album are mid-paced in speed... but it's the melodies and the vocals that really draw me into this album.

... oh, and thank you...This Message Edited On 10.07.07

BallsToTheWall
June 21st 2008



44164 Comments


I must say this is much better than the other album, Collateral Defect that I have. I have faith now to check out their other stuff.

Hawks
June 21st 2008



34582 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Check out Engraved in Black. Thats probably their best.

Digging: Equilibrium - Erdentempel

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2008



15878 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Check out Engraved in Black. Thats probably their best.
I think this one is their best, and then probably "Scourge of Malice", but "Engraved in Black" is close

Hawks
June 22nd 2008



34582 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I might just think its their best because it was the album that really got me into Graveworm. I dont think any of Graveworm's albums are bad at all though.



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