Even if it sometimes lessened the complexity of their music, Graf Orlock was known by many as the band who uses action movie samples in their music, but at least they integrated them very well. Far from using them only for their outrageous comedic effect, the band also underlined the relationship that american movies entertained with the arm industry and this country unrelenting dedication to inflict senseless violence around them. A perfect illustration of the US’s international policy. From a musical point of view, the use of samples created pockets of fresh air from the massive grinding attack of the band and its two vocalists.
But, after so many years of grinding and exploiting their library of DVDs, Graf Orlock is no longer interested in just sampling and they have created their own! Every song on Crimetraveler starts with a piece of conversation between several characters to further progress the story like on Tyler, the Creator first two albums. Sadly, and unlike Tyler’s samples, even if these samples are short, they lack the immediate impact of the Schwarzenegger quotes of their previous albums. Graf Orlock are not as talented as Hollywood writers to write effective one liners which makes the whole continuity of the story feel flat.
On the other hand, musically speaking Graf Orlock has not sounded as inspired since Destination time today. Crime traveler is also the band’s first album since the release of the last piece of their trilogy in 2009. They have know found a different vocalist to make up for the departure of Kalvin Kristoff around 2007 and replaced him with a more natural sounding screamer instead of the raging screams of their previous co-frontman. The result does not create the same gripping contrast but it works well with the new songs and their more varied structure.
Graf Orlock is now grinding less but they are pushing their own boundaries more while still retaining the violence of their early days. Touches of noise rock shows up in Nursing a hangover, Our infailible cybernetic future slows down with a sludgy riffs doubled with a huge double bass kick… Virtually every song features a surprise twist but unlike the movies of M. Night Shyamalan they don’t stop to entertain once you know them. Crimetraveler is not Graf Orlock‘s best album and not it’s most immediately memorable but there is plenty to explore here for fans of extreme hardcore, even if it’s not a forward thinking sci-fi concept.