Grabak - Sin

Grabak have been around since 1995, and this German outlet of Black Metal has certainly come a long way. Always touching on the darker side of life, the group is embarking of one of their first straightforward concept albums based on the seven deadly sins. Each track off of 'Sin' corresponds to each one and tells a unique story in a poetic way. Of course, to hear it is an entirely different experience. Grabak has the typical Black Metal sound full of tremolo picking and high pitched snarled vocals with a slightly hazy atmosphere, but one thing to really appreciate is the guitar melodies that are created. Similar to the extensive brutality of Marduk, a track like "Wrath" just kicks off with no compromise in a hailstorm of bullets coming from the drums with fiercing riffing and wel produced, guttural snarls, which should appeal to those who like more high paced Black Metal.  On the other hand, a track like "Greed" is much more methodical, rhythmic, and almost borders the marching power of Black n' Roll, which adds more variation to the music as opposed to making every track a sole power trip of speed. There are even some vocal layerings with deeper growls to make them sound even more demonic, but never to fall out of step with the pace of the music.

One thing that Grabak sadly skimp out on is the brief use of female vocals on the opening track. "Prologue..." is a heavy track, but the female vocals balance it out wonderfully with a tone similar to that of Leaves' Eyes and it would have done Grabak a huge favor to enhance their music even more if they included more moments like these. There is the 'awesome' plodding riffs that make up the closing track "Epilogue," making it possibly one of the greatest Black Metal instrumentals that can clearly be heard, but as far as adding atmosphere and balancing things out, it just doesn't add up to the scope of what the female vocals do. Hopefully they will be included more on future albums. Overall though almost any Black Metal fan should be happy with what Grabak has to offer on 'Sin,' and even if some Metal fans don't like Black Metal, check out the lyrics of the song titles as they are unique in their conceptual way and carry the storytelling power that makes bands like Cradle Of Filth so popular (despite how many may complain about their music).

  1. Prologue- The Covenant
  2. Wrath- Into A Mental Inferno
  3. Envy- Beyond The Grace Of God
  4. Gluttony- The King's Jester
  5. Sloth- The Echoes Of Babel
  6. Lust- Of Masters And Servants
  7. Greed- The Sign of The Rope
  8. Pride- The Black Mirror
  9. Epilogue- The Lord Of Sin