Friday, 2 October 2015

Grim Van Doom - 'Grim Love' (Album Review)

By: Chris Bull

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 11/09/2015



I can tell from the off that run of the mill stoner/doom this most definitely is not.
'Goddamn This Love' has your doomy qualities but with an Unsane edge to it (without being too obvious an influence). Vocally I'm reminded of Stephane Azam from French avant-sludge troupe CROWN, and Fade Kainer from Batillus.  'Snowfields' is straight from the Abominable Iron Sloth/Will Haven school of riff writing, jagged and angular but at the same time, round and smooth. This band has set a high standard for whatever they follow this up with, can they do it? I'll be waiting to find out


‘Grim Love’ CD//CS//DD//LP track listing:

01. Goddamn This Love
02. Family Girl
03. Snowfields
04. The Storm
05. Thulsa
06. Butchr
07. Frank Vilyn
08. Nilsis

The Review:

I normally reserve a certain amount of apprehension when listening to a stoner/doom band that has the words 'weed', 'bong', 'goat' and 'doom' in their name, Germany's Grim Van Doom are the exception to that rule.

I can tell from the off that run of the mill stoner/doom this most definitely is not.  'Goddamn This Love' has your doomy qualities but with an Unsane edge to it (without being too obvious an influence). Vocally I'm reminded of Stephane Azam from French avant-sludge troupe CROWN, and Fade Kainer from Batillus. Musically there's some Batillus in there, the slightly unusual riffs and outside of the box drums highlighting the talent of the band. The riffs just keep on coming, 'Family Girl' has an almost meat headed metalcore feel to it but the weight of the guitars just punches any preconceived notions right out of your skull. 'Snowfields' is straight from the Abominable Iron Sloth/Will Haven school of riff writing, jagged and angular but at the same time, round and smooth.

It's difficult to pick a standout track as truthfully; it's a standout album; however, 'The Storm' might just have a slight edge. This is the kind of thing to get heads nodding and whirling with fists raised high in the air. A chunky, chugging riff fades out into the sound of wind sweeping through houses and towns relentlessly. Nice. 'Thulsa' is again, very impressive, the riff writers need to give themselves a pat on the back, the drummer too deserves praise for keeping up as the song skips and steps in several directions. 'Butchr' is a full on sonic assault and 'Frank Vilyn' is a slower and more methodical beast, still packing a weighty punch and keeping the riffs interesting despite a lot of open notes ringing out. 'Nilsis' to me, is what Meshuggah would sound like if they ditched the computer programming and tried to do doom but with more chug. Lots of chug. For those who got the alternative version, there's a bonus track called 'Child Of Light' which epitomises everything I've said about the album.

This band has set a high standard for whatever they follow this up with, can they do it? I'll be waiting to find out.

‘Grim Love’ is available here

Band info: bandcamp | facebook

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