Type: CD Company: The Goatmancer Release: 2016 Genre: Black Reviewer: Greg Watson Published: 9/24/2016
They know their black metal chops
Grimness is an old, Italian black metal band that I had never even heard of. Apparently, they put out one full-length album "Increase Humanity Disgust" and an EP called "Dogma". The reissue also features new artwork, a live cut and a previously unreleased song from the 2008 album "Trust In Decay" recording sessions. Anywho, the absolutely amazing thing is that this material doesn't sound like it was recorded 10 years ago. It sounds like it was recorded a year or so ago and fits right in with the current sound of the black metal genre.
Grimness proves that they know their black metal chops on tracks like "Dimension Evil" and "Katharsis in Vain" which both sound as though they are heavily influenced by the 90's era Black Metal height as well as some of the more modern polish of Dimmu Borgir and Behemoth thrown in. Vocally the style is a mix of screams and a few death grunts thrown in as well. On the track "Evil in Men" there's a part in the song where it sounds like singer/guitarist Valerio Di Lella is channeling Tom Araya of Slayer. The dynamic sound and quality of the black metal on this album is staggering, especially given these songs were culled from releases recorded over 10 years ago.
I don't know if Di Lella was the original singer or if the vocals were re-recorded for this reissue but his vocals have that great rasp and harshness that you look for in black metal vocals. The guitars on here remind me a lot of Dissection in their tone and the style of playing, that melodic yet aggressive sound that made Dissection sound so freaking huge. Thank the dark one himself that the drums don't sound like they were done on garbage cans or in a dark, dank cellar somewhere. Their bombast really adds another element of heaviness to the songs, especially when the blast beats really get rolling. I can't say how impressed I am with this album enough.
The production is mostly of the newer school, eschewing the lo-fi production that was big back in the late 90s to early 2000s but still allows for the music to stand on its own without adding any effects or cleaning things up a little. I don't know if the reissue means that Grimness is getting back together and working on new music but I really hope that's the case. I'd really like to see what the band has to offer now, especially given how quality the material is on "Decade of Disgust". So all you black metal fans out there, if you haven't heard of Grimness, be glad for The Goatmancer Records resurrecting this beast and bringing us some damn fine black metal. If you've heard of Grimness, I imagine that this reissue will give you a potentially better quality release, though that's just me assuming. Either way, if you're worth your salt as a metalhead, this album will quickly become a part of your library. Otherwise, you may find yourself living in a "Decade of Disgust" for letting this one pass you by!
---- Reissue of the band’s debut album, Increase Humanity Disgust, featuring bonus material and new graphic art: Tracks 1 to 9 from Increase Humanity Disgust (2005) Track 10 is an unreleased track from Trust in Decay (2008) Tracks 11 to 14 from Dogma EP (2002)
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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