GRIFFIN – Lifeforce

GRIFFIN - Lifeforce


Release date: April 25, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Norwegian quintet Griffin proclaims their vision is to serve the very essence of Classic Heavy Metal, inspired by the masters of the genre from the 1970’s and 1980’s. With the world in awe over Norwegian Black Metal, Griffin feels that Heavy Metal out of Norway needs a push in order to not be neglected. So, their fourth release, Lifeforce, raises the question: do they remain faithful to their vision?

Lifeforce has 11 songs squeezed into less than 37 minutes, all with the speed and intensity of a tornado and the freshness of a summer breeze. Except from the opening track “Accelerate,” and the concluding “Leylines” (both instrumental), all compositions have a strong vocal focus. With such a brilliant singer as Pete Back, one might argue that this goes without saying. At the same time, songs are not all with equal melodic focus, but the message given hardly benefits from melodic escapades rather than the far more in-your-face approach chosen here.

Typical for this album is the fierce guitar work. You are bound to find a number riffs and solos calling for a grin or even a head-shaking-in-amusement laugh. Drums and bass are not any less, and the scarcely used additional noises and Hammond/Mellotron creates very appropriate symphonic or heroic moods. With bullseye production, the album fulfills the basic requirements for good Metal.

It’s hard to pick any distinct favorite tracks, even if both the instrumentals, “Rest,” Recipe For Rage,” “Building A Future,” and “Lifeforce” all are above average for the album. On the other hand, the weaknesses in “Utopia,” “Moment Of Madness,” and perhaps “Bound In Re-Runs” (with words being very hard to catch) are more apparent, without actually spoiling the individual songs or the entire album.

Still, after several spins, the songs tend to lack a certain memorable character. They all get your attention and are bound to give you a good time when played through to the end, but when the show is over, the songs are merely a distant experience. It’s hard to see this Classic Heavy Metal album make it to the classics section of Heavy Metal.

Anyhow, Griffin definitely remains faithful to Heavy Metal and their position on Norway’s Heavy Metal scene is indisputable. The final, spoken words on “Leylines” are:

“Mission has been completed. Goodbye.”

It’s easy to agree with this, and thus Lifeforce is safely recommended to all fans of Metal. Just make sure you play it loud!


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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