Review: Grafvitnir – Necrosophia

Coming from an upbringing of thrash and later on death metal, I crave the riff. I’m beholden to its power, its majesty. Scouring my surroundings for any signs of its presence can be tiresome, so much so that when one stumbles upon even a solitary morsel, it is voraciously consumed, the appetite expanded, rather than satiated. For three weeks straight now I’ve been gorging on the riffs Grafvitnir put on the table with their latest album Necrosophia, and there’s still some leftovers, if you’re hungry.

Prior to seeing this album pop up on my radar I had not heard Sweden’s Grafvitnir. The killer cover caught my eye though, and immediately after stabbing play on the track on offer (“Varulvsnatt”) I was rewarded with some ripping second-wave style black metal.

After doing a little looking around it appears the trio released their first album in 2012 and a second in December of 2014. Going back and listening to the proceeding album a few times, it became apparent to me that while it is a quality release, Necrosophia is a more refined effort and has a more cohesive overall sound.

So as you’ve probably elucidated from my introductory garbling, the guitar-work on this album appeals to me greatly. Each one of the 7 tracks is a riff-laden beast, offering no respite by way of clean passages or frilly interludes, just sharply honed icicles which pierce through the foggy Scandinavian veil of Winter and perforate your ear drums on their way into your brain. While a pervading melodic element exists in the songs, it is entirely based at the cold end of the spectrum, gusting with frigid squalls rather than balmy emotive breezes.



Unlike many of the recent black metal releases getting acknowledgement in recent memory, the guitars are the main provider of atmosphere on this album. Sure, there are some moments where the synth adds an extra layer of ambience to the mix, but it is strictly employed to accentuate the strong foundations. The second track, “Awakening of the Ancient Dragon” is a perfect example of this, its intro adorned with a diminished sounding riff replete with some blatant Nightside-era Emperor worship on the synth.

The vocals for the most part are standard fare for a black metal release of this kind, reminiscent of those from Setherial or early-Ihsahn minus the reverb, or to use a contemporary reference point, those found on last year’s releases from Akhyls and Barshasketh. The drumming does well to match the intensity of the guitars and has kept me interested throughout my umpteen playthroughs. The production on this riff-centric release should not disappoint either, everything is audible and seems balanced to my ears. Looking around, I’ve seen a fair few comparisons to Dissection, which while not completely out of context, were not the first band I’d categorise them with. So why mention it? Because if leaving a Dissection name-drop in here gets some of you stagnant cvrmvdgeons to check this album out, it was worth it.

As Spear mentioned in his This Toilet Tuesday round-up, this release does not exactly break through any genre-boundaries or attempt some abstract fusion of styles, but when an album is this damn solid, that is completely fine with me. Necrosophia allows me to indulge in what I seek most, and indulge I will.


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Published on: January 22, 2016

Filled Under: Metal, New Stuff, Opinion, Reviews

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  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    It was ok, until the vocals showed up. They’re too loud in the mix and just don’t fit.

    • Shrimp in a Pizza Box

      They’re not unbearable, but those screams need to fuck off, the one at the start almost made me stop listening immediately.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        True, but with the music being as good as it is, the vocals just fall flat.

    • Lacertilian

      I found them to be quite inoffensive.

  • Ooh im digging this.

  • Waynecro

    Great article, Lacertilian! I like what I hear.

  • Daemon Worship can be very hit or miss for me. Looking forward to the new Kringa release that they will be dropping along side Terratur Possessions. They have a song available from the album. Sounds good and cold! Wish I could have caught them on that tour with Mgla, One Tail, One Head, and Misþyrming.


    It;s nice to hear some BM that’s not all 16th and 32nd note drums

    • I hear LOTS of blast beats, which are 16th and 32nd notes.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Yeah, the drumming seemed pretty “standard” to me.

        • Pretty much. Not sure what he’s talking about.

    • Definitely sounds like a BM to me, nyuk nyuk nyuk!
      I’ll see myself out.

      • /wouldnyukagain/10

  • Dubs

    Good work, Lizardman.

  • Spear

    This album is most goodly. Thank you, dear lizard, for writing the words about it.

  • Also speaking of Daemon Worship. We better get new Svartidauði and Wormlust this year.

  • Lizard, this is a good finding and a good review, once again.

    Very melodic and cold melodic black metal. Reminds me of Sacramentum and I can def feel the Emperor influence too. The thing about the vocals doesn’t bother me at all, it sounds “reptillian”.

    • Lacertilian

      Agree with you on the Sacramentum.

  • CyberneticOrganism
  • Sorry I am not on topic today. But, I am glad it is Friday.

    • Looks like some decent weather the next couple of days too. Will be a nice break……

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Unless you’re on the east coast awaiting the snow void.

        • The collective bitching and moaning from everyone at work over the whole storm has been unbearable. We are not getting a lick of snow and everyone has to talk about how they wish they could get snow-fucked with 2 feet of snow. I don’t get it.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            People are stupid and weather is a common topic to talk about. And weather in any capacity will always catch human’s interest as it is something we can’t control……to a degree…..

          • Stanley

            I don’t have to visit the weather channel anymore. I can just visit the ToiletovHell and find out if it’s raining outside.

          • Stanley

            NO WEATHER.

          • I am not bothered by the weather, I am bothered that people want 2 feet of snow, lol.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Yeah, insane.

          • “No yeah, I wish we could get at least a foot, totally. I fucking love getting trapped in my home with not electric, heat, and all. I fucking love it!”


      • Shrimp in a Pizza Box

        It’s been around 4 degrees here for the whole week, hopefully it will be over by tomorrow.

      • Sir Tapir The Based

        Fucking shit’s gonna be warm next week.

      • traded in my rear-wheel car for a front over the summer. it’s nice being able to travel in snow!


        IT COLD IN TOILETTO!!!!!!!!

        • 42F here on Monday! Gonna feel like spring!



  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    Somebody mention Dissection?

    “Ok, this one is Night’s Blood.”

    • Gibson’s Flying V: one of the preferred axes by the Swedish metallers.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Those are killer guitars, Lightweight and comfortable.

        • “Super fat sound”, man.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            HM-2 >>>>>>>

        • Stanley

          Someone here was banging on about how shit Les Pauls are the other day. Excellent guitars and some of the nicest I’ve ever played. Super heavy though.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            I will be the first to say, that Gibson’s quality control is shit. But also Les Paul’s vary in weight anyway. Just have to find the right one.

    • Surprised it took you this long.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Yeah, me too.

  • Lizard bringing the Ihsahn reference reminded me of this:

    I don’t like now Ihsahn vocals, he always have this tiny pauses in the longest shrieks (even if this clip is better than the other ones I have saw from around 2008). Also, why they put Emperor to play at day?

    • Hopefully the Emperor reunion rumors are true for 2017.


        ALBUM OR TOUR???

        • Well, from what I heard MDF’s big secret for 2017 is that Emperor will be headlining.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Fuck, that would be rad, but Faust wouldn’t be there.

          • No, but I’d still like to see it happen. I’m stoked to see Mayhem play DMDS but no Euronymous. It takes a lot away from the experience to have a member gone but it is what it is.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Very true, but at least Faust is still alive, haha.

          • Very fucking true. All well.

            It would be rad if they played all of In the Nightside Eclipse. I’d be fine with just that.


            SAMOTH TOO!!!!!


            GORAK MUST GO!!!!!!!

  • Count_Breznak

    Did Dark Funeral change their name ?

  • Dagon

    I’m gonna be spending quite some time with this release, I can tell. It reminds me (in name a bit more than in sound) of a band I randomly discovered a while ago. Both killer BM.

    • Lacertilian

      Oh yeah, I remember you sending me this. All this black metal makes me want to turn the air-con down to 14C and pretend it’s Winter.