Saturday, 26 March 2016

Grey Heaven Fall - ‘Black Wisdom’ (Album Review)

By: Daniel Jackson

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 30/10/2015
Label: Aesthetics of Devastation


 ‘Black Wisdom’ is an album that by all rights should be revered as one of the great black metal albums of this decade. That it might go unrecognized due to a lack of exposure would be an absolute shame. The music is simply too good to deserve that sort of treatment. If it seems as if I’m almost begging for you to listen to the album, I apologize. It’s not something I’d do unless I truly felt strongly about an album’s quality. Speaking purely as a black metal fan now: do not let this thing pass you by.

‘Black Wisdom’ CD//DD track listing:

1. The Lord is Blissful in Grief
2. Spirit of Oppression
3. To The Doomed Sons of Earth
4. Sanctuary of Cut Tongues
5. Tranquility of the Possessed
6. That Nail in a Heart


Grey Heaven Fall is:

Arsagor | Guitar, Vocals
Sunsay | Bass
Pavel | Drums


The Review:

Sometimes, for whatever reason, there’s an album that metal critics simply missed the boat on. In this case, I’m not talking about an album wrongly getting negative reviews, but instead that there was simply not enough coverage of an album. Such is the case with Grey Heaven Fall’s phenomenal ‘Black Wisdom’, which was released to criminally little fanfare back in October of last year. While a handful of blogs ran reviews of the album, the ratio of coverage to album quality is severely out of whack here. There is no doubt in my mind that if I’d known about this album prior to this month, it would have ended up on my best of 2015 list.

Of the few reviews that have been written, Grey Heaven Fall have drawn comparisons to Deathspell Omega, which is musically fair, though I believe there are enough musical differences to stave off any accusations calling this band a clone band. A fair analogy might be to call Grey Heaven Fall the Artificial Brain to Deathspell Omega’s Gorguts, though in certain ways, Grey Heaven Fall is actually the superior band. They might certainly occupy a similar musical space, but each band puts a very different spin on those surface similarities. With that said, Grey Heaven Fall doesn’t really help avoid comparisons by using similar lyrical content, steeped in a familiar brand of theatrical theistic Satanism. In fact, that kindred lyrical approach is probably their only real mistake with the album.

From a purely sonic standpoint, Grey Heaven Fall are less chaotic and more, well, musical. They’re certainly prone to fits of ugly dissonance, but they also use sorrowful melody and a stronger sense of dynamic to give those truly ugly moments greater weight and impact. Using “Spirit of Oppression” as an example, at about three minutes in, the band indulges in a bit of winding prog before dropping speed into a melodic doom section. Then they begin to add guitar layers and the drumming more complex as the song progresses. As they transition back into the black metal, the song retains those melancholy characteristics, even as the pace quickens. There’s an emotional depth here that Deathspell Omega has never really even experimented with.

Black Wisdom’ is an album that by all rights should be revered as one of the great black metal albums of this decade. That it might go unrecognized due to a lack of exposure would be an absolute shame. The music is simply too good to deserve that sort of treatment. If it seems as if I’m almost begging for you to listen to the album, I apologize. It’s not something I’d do unless I truly felt strongly about an album’s quality. Speaking purely as a black metal fan now: do not let this thing pass you by. Go to the bandcamp link below and give this album a shot. My hope is that you’ll understand why I’m so passionate about the album.

‘Black Wisdom’ is available here



Band info: Facebook

No comments: