Hailing from Switzerland, LORD OF THE GRAVE started off in 2006 with a view to create ground shaking frequencies closely related to bands like Saint Vitus, Electric Wizard, and Sleep. After a redeployment the band has reunited in the original line-up, featuring bassplayer Michael Greilinger (ex-Phased / ex-Voodooshock) who's also one of the co-founders of the now defunctional Swiss doom band Windfall. Despite troubled times, the band is in best shape and so The Church Within Records showed interest in taming the beast. 'Raunacht', the first outcome in 2009 of that successful collaboration, is like a boat ride in stormy sea, where the water has been replaced with a vast number of very heavy riffs that surround the listener like huge sonic waves.
'Holy Vitus' is a sluggish start and lives up to the expectations of the title. The restrained vocals of guitarist Robert function like emblazoning accessory, somewhere deeply buried in the mix, while the band is focusing on their hypnotic riff machinery. 'Ghosts Of Pyre' is based on layers upon layers of rhythm and riffs, each instrument contributing until you are caught in a labyrinth made of titanic tude-driven amplifiers. The middle section of the song reawakens pleasant memories of Electric Wizard, and once more LORD OF THE GRAVE reach the 7 minute mark without any problems. The other three tracks show a similar blend, deep-seated in slow-to-mid paced territory, although the last one is the album's longest song - clocking in at 17:32 minutes.
There's a seamless transition between the penultimate song 'Bardo' (no, it's no Obsessed cover song) and 'Raunacht', but even that doesn't make it boring because here we have three well-trained musicians with a lot of good ideas. Also, regarding the wonderful, minimalistic gruffness of the music, LORD OF THE GRAVE has chosen a clever album title and artwork. There's a very strong and old tradition in Europe connected with the Raunacht, an ancient heathen excise to exorcise or invoke demons and ghosts, and this album radiates the same dark and mysterious vibe. In summary, it can be stated that 'Raunacht' has turned out well, and if you like any of the aforementioned bands than it's definitely not wrong to check out LORD OF THE GRAVE.