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Will Stronger Than Death

Poland Country of Origin: Poland

Will Stronger Than Death
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: March 25th, 2007
Genre: Pagan, Viking
1. Fire Dragon Of Black Sun
2. Throne Of The Granite
3. Battle Of The Giants
4. Fire And Snow
5. Apocalypto
6. Victoria Divina
7. Shadows Of The Past


Review by Felix on April 26, 2024.

Graveland albums are predictable. Show me a guy who disagrees and I show you a liar. “Will Stronger Than Death” marks no exception. Literally from the first second which kicks off the album with these typical Wotan-ic keyboard sounds, everybody knows what they are getting. And maybe we can blame Rob Darken for many things, but he definitely does not make too many compromises. He realizes his musical vision and that’s it. Therefore, the album from 2007 is as generic as it can be. Dignified mid-tempo sections or somehow almost awkward sounding fast-paced parts, endless keyboard and guitar lines, raw chanting and an atmosphere between creeping desperation, unbroken belligerence and triumphant heroism dominate the acoustic scenario. Given this structure, it is pretty clear that “Will Stronger Than Death” is an album for fans who do not have any problems with artists that follow the more-of-the-same dogma. But naturally, this can be said about a lot of Graveland output. Does this make things better or even worse? Decide for yourself.

To avoid lukewarm, uninspired and stale sounds, Darken varies the density of the songs. After two not really convincing standard tracks at the beginning, he has found the key to impress with almost opaque soundscapes. “Battle of Giants”, the longest piece of the album, possesses pretty variable lines and an almost spooky chorus. “Fire and Snow” breaks out of the mid-tempo scheme, at least to a certain degree. While doing so, the song gains intensity, although the weak points of the production come to light as well. Especially during the faster sections, the relatively dull sound appears pretty blurred. Nevertheless, the aggressive drums, the invoking vocals and the somehow drilling guitars create an atmospheric and expressive track.

The other way to keep the well known song formula interesting is the integration of outstanding melodies. “Fire and Snow” holds some of them, but those of “Apocalypto” even add a catchy element. This is no Pagan black metal earworm, but its chorus has the potential to find a safe place in your mind. The interplay of the Valkyrian keyboards line and Darken’s one-word-chorus works excellently. Nevertheless, all in all the level of excitement does not achieve dizzying heights during the playtime of the whole album, to say it friendly. And to come back to the awkward sounding fast parts – it’s somehow funny that the snare hammers rapidly, while the keyboards and guitars keep performing mid-tempo melodies. With this said, I would not recommend “Will Stronger Than Death” whole-heartedly, because there are much better full-lengths with the Graveland logo on the cover. But convinced followers of the band will have a more or less good time with the album.

Rating: 6.9 out of 10

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