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Engraved In Black

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Album Review

Symphonic black metal is Graveworm's chosen method of attack, and their sonic resemblance to Cradle of Filth is simultaneously their benefit and their bane. Fourth full-length manifesto Engraved in Black is quite competent in performance, execution, and production, but when placed in the context of other releases within their genre, it's ultimately dry and derivative. Clocking in at less than 40 minutes (42 if you have the limited-edition digipak with a bonus track), the album is refreshingly direct and concise when compared to most bloated black metal prog opuses, and it's full of Gothic synths, articulate riffing, dramatic bravado, and guttural-to-piercing-rasp vocal trade-offs on which the aforementioned Filthies banked their artistically successful career. The album is padded by two short keyboard-heavy instrumentals ("Thorns of Desolation," which utilizes flute and bagpipes, and "Apparition of Sorrow"), and tracks such as "Legions Unleashed" and "Abhorrence" offer spot-on time changes and a memorable riff or melody.


Genre: Metal

Years Active: '00s

Since forming in 1992, Italy's Graveworm have unleashed a number of very sophisticated gothic-symphonic black metal albums, including 1997's When Daylight's Gone, 1999's As the Angels Reach the Beauty, 2001's critically acclaimed Scourge of Malice, and 2003's Engraved in Black -- plus a handful of EPs. These have earned them comparisons to Norwegians Dimmu Borgir and Brits Cradle of Filth, among others, and the current lineup of vocalist Stefan Fiori, guitarists Harry Klenk and Orgler Thomas, keyboardist...
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