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Griffin - Lifeforce
For a a country which is mostly known for it's strong black and death metal scene, it's rather refreshing to hear a melodic power metal band like Griffin hailing from Norwegian grounds.
As it is with most Norwegian bands, the quality of songwriting, production and overall presentation is excellent, but what do these Norwegian lads have to offer besides that?
 
When first track Accelerate kicks in you know you're in for some good old fashioned metal. An instrumental up-tempo track to set the mood, it's a fine setup for the rest of the disc.
Second track 'Rest' instantly reminded me of a technically watered down version of Symphony X.
The vocal harmonies and guitar riffing are pretty reminiscent of that band, only it's really like a 'light' version. The following tracks keep that same 'feel' over them, but I was also vaguely reminded of Armored Saint's older work. The band also have some surprises up their sleeve as some 80's hardrock elements (think Whitesnake) are also thrown into the mix throughout the album. This especially worked for me, as it greatly fueled my nostalgic feelings. Without sounding too outdated I must add.
Luckily, the term power metal doesn't always mean 'happy metal' like Helloween or Gamma Ray. Griffin do have a genuine dark feel (probably due to their Norwegian background) in their songs, which makes up for a minimal amount of cheesy and laughable 'metal' moments, and more overall listening pleasure. (at least to me then, not being a power metal purist) 
These kind of bands are often dependent on their vocalists' abilities and Griffin should consider themselves lucky with a singer like Pete Beck. His raw edge makes this band stand out, a bit like Symphony X's Russel Allen, but of course he isn't in the same league.(who really is?...) Still, Pete does a terrific job.
 
I must admit, that at first listening, this album sounded rather bland and generic to me. I thought 'Well, power metal, sounds ok, the guys can play, but it's not my thing: 70'. It was not only until the deadline for this review started to creep up on me, that I gave this disc the few extra spins it needed. Or that I needed really.
Griffin play well written, dark and atmospheric sounding power metal with some 80's hard rock influences which creates an interesting listen. Sadly not all the songs are as high quality as the standout tracks, so that might be something to work on for the band. It might even turn out to be a classic next time, the potential is still there.
Griffin - Lifeforce
79/1001Details Massacre Records
Released on Tuesday Aug 30th, 2005
Power Metal

Writer @Ce-El-Wan on Saturday Nov 12th, 2005

Tags: #Griffin
Tracklisting 1. Accelerate (1:25)
2. Rest (3:35)
3. Premonition (4:02)
4. Recipe For Rage (3:06)
5. Utopia (3:41)
6. Dungeon (3:55)
7. Moment Of Madness (3:05)
8. Building A Future (3:57)
9. Lifeforce (4:20)
10. Bound In Re-runs (3:42)
11. Leylines (2:01)
Line up Marius Karlsen (Drums)
Marcus Silver (Guitar)
Pete Beck (Vocals, Percussion)
Kai Nergaard (Guitar)
Johnny Wanberg (Bass)