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Review by Jeger

 Graugeist – Heaven Denies (EP)

Record Label: Void Wanderer Productions – Kvlt und Kaos Productions

Year: 2023

Rating: 9/10

Now, on the surface, as they wallow in the desolation of a post-plague Dark Age, it’s within the chasms of the international Black Metal underground where those under the Black Mark find solace. And as we bask in the wisdom of ancient philosophies and revel in the glory of Left-Hand enlightenment, we can hear from as-of-yet undiscovered corridors, Germanic incantations of death as a new harbinger of doom makes his voice heard through the current of true Black Metal.

Germany’s Graugeist is a solo project realized by one Sarghas only a year ago. This year, he released his first recording under the Graugeist banner – a fine EP collection of five tracks all indicative of adeptness and wisdom that stretch far beyond the youth of the project. 21 minutes worth of captivating Melodic Black Metal that transcends the confines of our worldly existence into the realm of dreams and into the shadows of death. And along our way, as we traverse these complex yet accessible compositions, we listen as the anthemic “Forward the Doom” and the tremolo-dominated titular cut speaks the language of the soul – each track bleeding passion, inspiration and trademark German epicality.




Graugeist is one of those projects that just hit the ground running. No awkward growth phase and no questionable demo recordings. “Heaven Denies” is indicative of Sarghas’s years of experience and astute Black Metal IQ. It’s EPs like this one that leaves the hordes salivating for more as we wonder where the Hell this guy came from and how his music could possibly get any better. Oh, but it will and I envision a not-so-subtle rise to the upper echelons of the genre for Sarghas. I mentioned dreams and it’s the closer, Kuroi Hana that promises to transport you from the barrenness of our bitter now into the sphere of enchantment. Eerie whispering vocals and dreamlike guitar lullabies ease you into a mental Jacuzzi before one last lambasting of all things epic and atmospheric. The conservative use of keyboards/synth provides enough atmosphere to enhance the experience without requiring the Atmospheric Black Metal label, and the album’s triumphant vibes will leave you with fists clenched and an overall feeling of delightful anticipation as you take it all in.

This is black metal to stir up your passion for the dark arts and tickle that goosebumps-inducing sweet spot that lies between heart & soul. Enough momentum to level mountains and enough melody to send the spirit soaring. This is powerful and immersive BM that rings aloud with all the bells and whistles of contemporary Black Metal. A safe distance from the early 90s is kept here as originality and fresh energy pulsate through each and every second of this EP as it radiates a determined kind of energy. Statement made and signal heard loud and clear. Graugeist has arrived and the Germans are proving once again to be the keepers of one of the finest yet oft-overlooked Black Metal scenes. As comprehensive as EP’s come and a perfect example of what today’s product should sound like.

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