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HARDWARES

VICTOR GRIFFIN’S IN-GRAVED

Victor Griffins’ In-Graved

(Svart/Veritas)

Reviewed by : Mark Gromen
Rating : 8.0

After three frustrating decades playing second fiddle to drug addicted/unreliable PENTAGRAM/DEATHROW frontman Bobby Liebling, guitarist Victor Griffin announced his departure from the legendary (infamous?) Maryland based outfit, to concentrate on this new entity. While the name changed, many of the participants will be familiar to doom fanatics, including a batch of bass players who have been in the likes of TROUBLE, PILE OF SKULLS, GOATSNAKE, EARTHEN GRAVE, THE OBSESSED, as well as the six-stringer’s previous outfits. Former TROUBLE drummer Jeff “Oly” Olson is onboard, as Hammond organ keyboardist! Standouts include the opening ‘Digital Critic’ and ‘Thorn In The Flesh’. However, while generally heavy and retro sounding, the music contains a unique element. Witness ‘Fading Flower’: more a slow, bluesy 70s number than outright doom: widdly, fuzz tone guitar, complete with wah wah pedal and heavy accent of the ubiquitous Hammond organ. As if to drive the psychedelic flower power motif home, there also a cover of JETHRO TULL’s ‘Teacher’ amongst the seven originals (40 minutes total running time). Otherwise, it’s bludgeoning riffs accompanied by the regal air of the vintage keys. The concluding ‘Never Surrender’ parts from the formula, infectious, upbeat and almost pop, compared to its surroundings. Purists might balk at a feel good ending, but somehow it works and never feels forced or out-of–place.



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