WALKNUT - Graveforests And Their Shadows (2007)











Official distribution!

Stringsskald – All instruments and vocals (Temnozor, Forest (Rus), Volkoten, Vandal, Woods of Fallen, Nitberg)
Ravnaskrik (Gorruth) – Lyrics (Woods of Fallen, Temnozor)

“Let me try to express how amazing this album is. Lets say this album was an actual person, who one night decided to rape, torture, and murder my friends and family, but not after taking an axe to all of my belongings. How would I respond? I would shake the hand of this album and thank it for its existence. It’s just that good.

Graveforests and Their Shadows is all about atmosphere. The atmosphere crafted in this album could not possibly be any better – the guitar has an absolutely crushing, eerie tone, with haunting keyboards accompanying at a perfect volume. It’s also engaging – there are no ambient passages or samples. Aside from the short keyboard intro, it is all black metal. The guitars simply never stop until the album is over. Thus, the guitar and keyboard combination is integral to the success of the album, and they certainly fulfill their purpose. The keys also provide makeshift bass notes (there’s a bass guitar somewhere in the mix, but it’s very subtle) and add smoothness to the very heavily distorted guitar. The same deep, haunting choir-esque patch is used through out the album. Overall, the haze of the guitar/keyboard mix is what makes this album atmospheric (the songwriting is actually very dynamic).

The vocals are not your typical black metal screeches, they are full-blown wails, echoing despairingly through the dark landscapes created by the instrumentation. They run through basic amounts of a type of distortion, which creates a difficult to describe effect, which is further reverbed for atmospheric effect. Some of the vocals are truly incredible, anguished throat-ripping screams. The lyrics are written by Ravnaskrik, who does not play any instruments in the band (Stringsskald handles that). They are decent, but nothing worth writing a whole lot about. They describe essentially what you see on the cover art. Stringsskald’s delivery of the lyrics is stellar, as noted above.

The drums are programmed. I fucking hate programmed drums, but for some reason, these are passable. The atmosphere is created in such a way that the mechanical (yet tastefully programmed – Stringsskald bothered to put in a healthy amount of different patterns, fills, and other dynamics) percussion adds to certain aspects of the imagery. Real drums would be better but it’s certainly not a deal breaker for this album.

The songwriting could not be any better. Obviously, being atmospheric black metal, it is fairly simple and repetitive, but of course if you are interested in the genre that should not be a bother to you. I can’t think of any throwaway or otherwise meaningless riffs or phrases in any of the songs, everything adds to the atmosphere and to the listening experience. The guitar and keyboard are interlaced so well that even simple riffs (take the opening riff of Mother Ostenvegr) sound absolutely phenomenal. Despite the atmospheric label of the music, there are still dynamics in the songwriting – climaxes, flow through passages of action and buildup, release of tension, etc. The fourth song, Grim Woods, which is quite possibly one of my favorite songs of all time, features many changes in pace and intensity, along with the other two tracks in excess of ten minutes.

This album is truly a treat for the senses. There is not a single fault I can find with the album, and its only weakness is the slightly robotic programmed drums. I highly recommend giving this album a listen if you’re interested in any sort of atmospheric music. It will not let you down.” (review from metal archives)


1. Hrimfaxi


2. Motherland Ostenvegr

Once of Northern blood
Death and tragedy
Everything in you
Ghosts and mystery

Under the grey banners of skies
Where falcons sing their pride
What haunts your iron dreams
Motherland Ostenvegr?

Endless fields
Mists and horrid woods
Barrows by the riverbanks
And autumn wind above

Long forgotten songs
Human bones in the dirt
Helmets and swords in rust
The smell of graves and autumn soil

Mighty olden oaks
Always speak to me
With their grim voices of the dead
With their neverfading memories

Once of Northern blood
Death and tragedy
Everything in you
Ghosts and mystery

3. Come, Dreadfull Ygg

Spirits of snow haunt this air
Dreams of a hanged man on the oak
And Ravens speak their curses in ancient tongues:
Come, the Murderer, Dreadful Ygg

Where the old pinewoods pierce the skies
Like the crooked runes of death
Stain the sunset in blood
Come, the Enemy, Dreadful Ygg

Winterwitch breathes the cold smoke
In the poems of Distant night
Nordic heroism and seven winds
Come, The Murderer, Dreadful Ygg

Deadmen call your name
With the painted faces of Yule
With the horrid faces of Winter
Come watch this world through our eyes

Ghostmen call your name
With the painted faces of Yule
With the horrid faces of Winter
Come, cut the throats with our hands

Wolfmen call your name
With the painted faces of Yule
With the horrid faces of Winter
You’re in each of us…

4. The Midnightforest Of The Runes


5. Grim Woods

Grim woods of extinct northern lands
Where only spirits walk upon the overgrown paths
Towards the sunsets over ancient labyrinths of stone
And pagan monoliths are yet to pierce the skies

Horned moon spills it’s stellar grief
Unto the silver mirrors of the crystall lakes
Where titanic ruins dream their endless dreams
Awaken ghosts of glorious past, of rise and downfall

Grim woods stand as the hosts of old
With rusty helmets and the broken spears against the sky
The silent witnesses of countless ritual murders
And evil sorcery is spilt among these winds

Distant thickets echo with the ghastly screams
From the cursed pagan altars of the tortured souls
Old gates of wisdom closed, unreached
Forgotten, sealed with keys of blood

Grim woods are listless, cold as hearts of men
The men that did forget their own roots
The answers are known, yet none shall speak
Where only spirits walk upon the overgrown paths

6. Skinfaxi