GRIFFON
Har HaKarmel (2016) By xDemoNx

The French scene continues to deliver good Black Metal bands, almost daily, something that can make it too difficult to follow it. So, Griffon, members of the French scene since 2012, they consist of five musicians and they have released one EP in 2014. In January of 2016 they return in order to release their first full length album, which contains seven compositions of overall duration of forty-three minutes and it is called "Har HaKarmel". So in this album, the listener will come across a harsh but melodic, European style of Black Metal, with many epic elements. All of their members participate into other bands too, known bands into the underground such as Moonreich and Neptrecus. Their experience as also their bonding can be easily perceived already from the first minute. But this makes our expectations for this album go higher. Do they achieve to meet those created?

So in order to answer immediately to that question, I will say that they meet those expectations to a satisfactory level. Musically, the band is moving closer to the sound of Neptrecus, presenting an absolutely melodic result with quite a lot of epic references, while in some parts you will notice that also they have maintained some more violent and harsh elements which refer to Moonreich. The riffs mainly are of medium speed, reminding to the listener of the sound of Emperor combined with a lot of epic elements. Their characteristic is the melody and the feelings that fill the space and the mind of the listener dragging him to a dark but epic and majestic world. The durations of the tracks is satisfactory as every track achieves to express the in a complete way the theme that it wants to present but without becoming longer than the length needed and become tedious for the listener. Also the structure of the trucks is quite good, highlighting the important ideas of the band perfectly.

Almost as every band of France, that applies to Griffon too, they have done a very good job concerning the performance of the instruments and the orchestration of the compositions. Surely the leading role is played by the guitars, that with their melody, their awesome expression and their passion they achieve to deliver the feelings and the images to the listener, easily. The next instrument that is distinguished is the drums. They fill the compositions very well with their solid lines and the beautiful, full of energy turnings. They have much passion but at the same time accuracy too. The bass is not clearly audible, it is quite dirty and somehow lower in the mixture, but it fills the sound well. Finally, the vocals are harsh, almost whispering Black Metal vocals, they are quite monotonous and generally I don’t think that they have anything special to offer to the compositions. The production is clean and not bass at all something that I might miss sometimes. The mixture is very good as it has found a very good balance between every instrument and it achieves to highlight them as it should and where it should. Lastly, the lyrics are contained into the cd and they are written in French and unfortunately I didn’t manage to understand what they refer to.

Summing up, "Har HaKarmel" gave me very good impression, especially if someone consider that this is the band’s first full length effort. They achieved, without becoming tedious into any part of the album, to offer to the listener beautiful and intense images and feelings. I think that the fans of the melodic and epic European sound must buy it. The rest of you give a chance to the album so that it offers you what it has to offer and maybe you may become a fan of Griffon too.

1. L'apostat 06:14
2. La cité est perdue 07:28
3. L'arbre blanc 05:22
4. Har HaKarmel 06:23
5. La lisière 04:10
6. Psaume 05:14
7. Tout est accompli 07:30