Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hypothermia - Gratoner

1. Gratoner I & II (20:59)
2. Gratoner III (14:57)
3. Gratoner IV (11:31)

It's been quite a chore lately, keeping up with the deluge of black metal bands forsaking their genre of choice and branching out into other forms and textures. Some have been embracing shoegaze, others folk, noise and avant garde composition. What tends to get lost in the translation is the core primacy that gives black metal it's power.

The Swedes of Hypothermia have been churning out demos and splits in spades since 2003 and Gratoner is a collection of leaked demos and rehearsals of the upcoming fourth full-length. Not only have they been creating excellent depressive black metal in a live band setting, they've managed to evolve the melancholy sound into something different, pushing the pieces into sprawling epics drawing heavily upon repitition of droning riffs. The tortured wails are still intact, but those looking for a tremelo-picked thrash-a-thon should look elsewhere. Hypothermia are masters of downtempo blackmetalgaze, not sounding too far from a Malefic-fronted Pelican.

It appears this material will not be officially released, at least not in this form, so grab it while you can. It's fair to say that these tracks are a considerable shift in style from the last release, Rakbladsvalsen. These demos have me anxious for the "real", official Gratoner. Hurry yourselves up, gentlemen.



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