Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gromm - Pilgrimage Amidst the Catacombs of Negativism

This is the second Gromm record to be released under a label based in Ukraine, where the band is from. Gromm is a band that generally likes to take their time with their music writing. They never stick to a certain pattern and they seem to never release more than three albums under the same label. Like a lot of other bands out there that I love, Gromm never rushes their writing process; if they feel inspired, they get down to business and compose purebred black metal until their temporary inspiration runs out. Another band that does this is Augury (who REALLY takes their time in between releases) who released their first album in 2004, their second in 2009, and their third sometime in the next year or so (I had an interaction with their vocalist over email and he told me that a new album will be coming soon). And like a handful of other metal bands out there in the world, they’ve done nothing but get better with almost each release.

One thing that I’m hearing quite a bit of in this album is atmosphere. Although it still has that really gritty black metal sound, there are sections with enough atmosphere to be mistaken for a depressive black metal song. In the first minute or so of the first song, the ambience is one of those simple yet indescribable kind of sounds. Then, the action really starts! The band takes you down a path of black metal with a slight groove to it; very, very similar to Ravencult and Carpathian Forest. Although I would consider it to have more of a Ravencult sound because of the extremely low production quality.

The vocals aren’t what I would personally consider generic, but they’re definitely the most disliked kind of black metal vocals amongst the metal community. I don’t know if there’s a particular name for this kind of vocals, I usually just tell people to listen to Transylvanian Hunger by Darkthrone and Black Metal ist Krieg by Nargaroth and say “that kind of vocals”. There have been many cases where black metal vocalists have taken this style TOO far to the point where they sound like they’re choking on a turkey. This guy has a more relaxed sound like the vocalists from Immortal and Darkthrone.

I consider each individual track to be a gem in itself; but each is too complex for me to describe. Unlike most EPs, all of the songs have the same GENERAL sound (not IDENDICAL), so it feels like you’re listening to a full-length album once the last track has reached its conclusion. If I had to pick a “favorite” or the song that I would consider to be the BEST first impression, it would be the intelligently-picked first track, Necroscope. I would only recommend this EP to black metal fans and would give it 15/20.