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Album Reviews : Grimalkin – Grimalkin

By on July 7, 2015

a2773917223_16Slow burns and humble beginnings. I remember listening to the first Terrorizer bonus CD I ever bought with both a sense of awe and bewilderment. There were the obvious tracks from bands like Exodus and Fear Factory, but one stood out in particular as a monolithic low-fi lasher, that being the all-female Japanese band Gallhammer. I can’t help but think back to my first reactions to that band when listening through black metal band Grimalkin‘s “Self Titled.”

This is raw, low-fi, intense, and bred to be played live in dingy, poorly lit pubs and clubs to a drugged and furiously unfocused crowd. The elements that stand out the most are the heavy presence of the bass, the constant cadence of smashing drums in the vein of early Darkthrone, and shrieking vocals piercing clearly through the chaos. The guitar reminds me slightly of Marduk‘s first effort, Dark Endless, in that the riffs switch between furious chords and long, drawn out notes, pulsing with unrefined tones.

Each song never overstays its welcome, with most of them being short and sweet. “Deluge” gets off to a slow start before blasting into familiar black metal territory. “Nothing Nice To Say” seemingly does the opposite, opening with rapid chords and blast beats, and ending with notes that ring out over the pained vocals. “You Don’t Get It” is probably the most accessible of all the tracks, having a clear cut riff discernible through the frantic drums. “The Self/The Serf” pounds on, leading to “Spectacle,” another more accessible track because of its high chords and repetitive riffs.

For fans of ‘Trve Kvlt’ black metal, in all its leather-sporting, axe-wielding, headset microphone-recording, garage band at my mum’s housing glory, Grimalkin’s self-titled is good enough for a few listens. For black metal fans evolving with the times, probably not.

About

Benjen is a qualified teacher residing in the south-east suburbs of Perth. Benjen was introduced to hard rock at the age of 12 with Papa Roach's "Love-Hate Tragedy," and has developed a love for hard rock and metal since. He also has a keen interest in gaming and almost every fandom imaginable, from Doctor Who to Deadpool. He can be followed on Twitter @thetoadmode