GRIFFIN – The Ultimate Demise

  • 7.5/10
    GRIFFIN - The Ultimate Demise - 7.5/10


Spiritual Beast
Release Date: March 26, 2007

User Review
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This is the fifth studio outing from Norway’s Griffin (thus not to be confused by the 80’s USA band of the same name). It’s the second album on Spiritual Beast/Burning Star except for the home turf where the band’s still on FaceFront. Likewise, it’s also the second time the band is being produced by legendary King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque (a name like that just crys out for stardom, doesn’t it?). Not just the new set of songs are fresh this time around, though, as several new members are introduced for the first time on The Ultimate Demise, among them that dramatic change for any Metal band; a new voice, namely Rolf Bakken who replaces Peter Beck. Bakken thus makes Griffin’s third singer spread over five albums in a line-up changing frenzy comparably to that of Seven Witches. Bakken’s got a great voice that happens to be well-suited for Griffin’s Traditional and melodic Heavy Metal. He can belt it out with aggression when the situation calls for it, like in the fast-paced ”Losing Control,” and also lends some Bluesiness in the warm-hearted ”Crown of Thorns.” He proves to juggle both within one song in the groovy ”Angel.”

Another newcomer, drummer Alessandro Elide, puts his skin-beating knowledge to good use, backing up the rich guitar melodies featured in ”Ain’t Hard To Die” or the fast double kick in ”Down On You.” Featuring catchy arrangements and brooding with melody, Griffin are very good composers that perform with a dark tone, courtesy of the twin guitar team of Kai Nergaard and third newcomer, young Roar “Emperoar” Naustvoll. The short songs (the longest clock in at a mere 3:49 minutes) witness the band’s straightforward style. They may also be Hollywood enthusiasts, as the voices of both Clint Eastwood and what seems to be James Mason serves as intros.

The dark tone and heavy production value sets Griffin in a modern day light, while the musical style itself has roots in late 70’s Hard Rock and early 80’s Heavy Metal. Surely a great combination for traditionalists who enjoy music that has an ageless vibe going for it. The band is doing a good job on flying the flag on Norway’s behalf, the country not being as well-known for classic-styled Metal at large. The aforementioned ”Ain’t Hard To Die” and ”Restless Dream” are good examples of the recipe at hand. Lyrically, The Ultimate Demise is also easy to relate to, as it offers sympathy for anyone who got left behind, and left alone to ponder personal wrong doings, and thus would make it relatable to anyone.


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