Grift — Budet
After almost a 3-year break between studio albums, Sweden's Grift drops the project's third full-length effort, Budet. The one-man outfit's productivity has not waned in the intervening years, with a live record titled Aftonklang having been issued roughly a year ago, but this is the first batch of all new material.
While the notion of blending black metal and folk music is far from unique — in fact it's almost the rule as opposed to the exception now — the seemingly endless variations on this theme continue to hold my interest. Grift combines a very strong base of Swedish folk music with strong accents of black metal, with the resulting sound possessing a unique sense of melody with very harsh edges.
Sung entirely in Swedish, and featuring a lot of very harsh, screamed vocals, Budet is not the most accessible album one could ask for. The time spent unpacking the album is well spent, however, as even with a barrier there is a strong sense of emotional weight to the material that transcends language. The strained, raspy vocals in the final minutes of "Väckelsbygd," contrast with the the brooding synths and sparse percussion and yet manage to sonically make sense.
Other tracks, like "Vita Arkiv," have a more straight-forward black metal flavour, represented mainly by a classic blast beat and flourishes of tremolo picking. There is a strong, melodic build before more prolonged tremolo picking appears, but it hits at just the right time. The atmospheric qualities of this latest wave of black metal influenced projects has always been a strong selling point, and Grift doesn't let anyone down here.
At 6 tracks and a running time of 41 minutes, Budet is a concise record, at least by the standards of the genre. "Väckelsbygd" is the longest cut, at 10 minutes, with the reset clocking in between 5:30 and 7 minutes. Grift takes some time to set a mood, but nothing veers into ambient territory; Budet is a faster paced record than a lot of atmospheric black metal.
What Budet lacks in ferocity or headbanging moments it more than makes up it with quality melodic songwriting and judicious use of abrasion and raw emotion. An excellent offering for melodic metal fans, with a premium on the former half of the equation but definite metal bonafides. Budet is another powerful record from Grift, one of the many compelling projects operating in the post-kvlt world.
The third full-length album from Grift lives up to all expectations, as Budet continues the maturation of the project's folk-heavy, atmospheric black metal style. Cold, eerie soundscapes support powerful melodies throughout record, accented by strined, forelorn howls. For a genre that has, ironically, become as varied as 'black metal,' Grift provide another strong example of that diversity and progression.
Release date: March 20th, 2020
Record label: Nordvis Producktion
Erik Gärdefors — vocals, instrumentation
Georg Börner — violin
Sangre De Muerdago — violin
- Barn Av Ingenmansland
- Ödets Bortbytingar
- Vita Arkiv
- Oraklet I Kullabo
Published: May 27th, 2020.