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Griffen: Linked In Eternity EP
Melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.0/5.0

'Linked In Eternity' is the second EP/Demo from Sweden's Griffen. As of this review, they are still not signed to a major label. I find this quite surprising because Griffen is quite talented and has their own definitive sound. This is not your typical Scandi heavy (usual power) metal or hard rock. It's more 80's based metal wrapped up in traditional melodic hard rock. This makes perfect sense when you discover that the members' musical beginning go deep into the late 1980's.

The strength of Griffen is in their combined musicianship and single-mindedness in song composition. Regarding the former, I'm particularly impressed by Jorgen Soderberg vocals; they are solid, strong and consistent. He can easily move between basic hard rock and heavy metal. Additionally, guitarist Tomi Teltonen is an equally solid performer. I would not call his fret work extraordinary, yet it is creative, refined, and enthusiastic. The rhythm section of Kirstian Houtari (drums), Harri Tuovila (bass), and Stefan Tornblom (rhythm guitar) provide a reliable and steady foundation. Simply, this is band of five guys who have a common thread and an exceptional focus.

As for the songs (only five on this demo), I found them all to be strong offerings with the exception of one which I'll mention in a moment. 'Linked In Eternity' basically defines Griffen's sound: the metal tempered by the melodic hard rock. This is Soderberg's finest performance. And Teltonen really rips it up. 'Secret Fire' picks up the pace a little more with the rhythm section driving the tempo. Another significant track is the last, 'Life Is On The Way.' On this song, genres get blurred completely. It is at the same melodic metal and rock. It's the most accessible song on the album and my favorite. My only disappointment was 'The Hydra,' an unusually plodding metal number that seemed to nowhere. However, I will say this: the more I listened to it the more it grew on me. Yet, the other cuts are much better.

Frankly, some label in Europe should jump on these guys quickly. Griffen is a solid band with tons of talent and a strong sense of direction. How many young or new bands can you say this about? Not many. 'Linked In Eternity' is great stuff. Very recommended.
  - Craig Hartranft

In Short

Sweden's Griffen presents their second Demo/EP, 'Linked In Eternity,' a fine blend of heavy metal and melodic hard rock light years away from what passes for traditional Scandi metal or rock. Griffen is on to something here. Strong performances and song composition should destine this band to a major European label contract.

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