Kai Nergaard of Bloodthorn and members from Atrox and Dark Ages formed Griffin in 1998. The idea was to emphasize thrash metal. A demo was recorded, but never distributed. A follow-up attempt called Conquers The World attracted the attention of Season Of Mist in France. The debut record was completed in eleven days at Studiomega in Sweden. The band supported the debut by touring with label-mates Mayhem just prior to the debut's release. They also recruited Silver in time to record The Sideshow.
Nergaard was hospitalized due to back injury in the summer of 2002, but was soon able to return to the fold. When Sebastian was not able to join the band on the road with Sinergy and Dark Tranquillity in late 2002, Griffin recruited Pete Beck for the trek.
No Holds Barred featured Children Of Bodom's Alexi Laiho as producer and guest guitarist. Spiritual Beast issued the CD in Japan. The band suffered a setback in April of 2004 when singer Pete Beck was hospitalised due to a heart attack. The band soon recruited female singer Ida Hawkland of Spiritual Beast as its new singer after Pete opted to quit the business. In the summer of 2004, singer Pete Beck rejoined the band. The vocalist had earlier quit the band to rest and recuperate from illness and returned after a faster-than-expected healing time. The group released its fourth full-length album, entitled Lifeforce, through FaceFront Records in the spring of 2005. The band also shot a video for the song Utopia. Singer Pete Beck once again left the band due to illness in the spring of 2005. His replacement was Rolf Bakken. The band next lost lead guitarist Marcus Silver. Drummer Marius Karlsen decided to leave in 2006 in order to pursue a career as a chef. Alessandro Elide of Manifest, who replaced Marius on a European tour, would join the band full-time. The band signed to Burning Star Records for two albums in 2006. The band’s next album was reportedly called The Ultimate Demise and was due in May, 2007.
GRIFFIN - LIFEFORCE - MASSACRE RECORDS
An intro with a definite King Diamond feel opens Lifeforce, perhaps an immediate sign of producer Andy Larocque’s influence. The first full song Accelerate is a more traditional hard rock influenced song, more likely to be heard on an '80’s release. Rest is much the same and Premonition further confirms that Griffin are heavily influenced by that era’s heavy metal. Recipe For Rage contains some of the clichéd pseudo angry vocals and lyrics that one might have heard on a Skid Row album. Utopia’s guitars, riffs and catchiness are clearly reminiscent of Pretty Maids’ Red Hot and Heavy. Dungeon and Moment Of Madness continue where the previous songs left off. Building A Future, with its opening sample from Alec Baldwin’s Malice, is very reminiscent of Stratovarius at times. The title track, Bound In Re-runs, Leylines and Unforgiver confirm that there is not much in the terms of power metal, as advertised, since they are all good examples of pure hard rock or heavy metal songs. Lifeforce is decent, proficient release and Pete Beck does a good job handling the vocals. - Anna Tergel