Tuesday 7 May 2013

Grande - S/T (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date : 22/1/2013
Label : Self Released

Grande, album tracklist:

1) Treating the Symptoms 3:21
2) Facesplit 4:01
3) Lizard Kill 3:03
4) Souldier3:37
5) Betrayal 3:05
6) Headless 2:44
7) Last Time 4:56
8) Nothing to Hide 4:33
9) The Gift 3:57
10) The Mission 4:25
11) Something I Can Never See 8:53

Bio :

Thunderous trio GRANDE was originally formed back in the fall of 2008 by guitarist Kaveryd, bassgrinder Dingvall and previous drummer Wiberg. In May of 2009 the band released their first promo and later that summer a number of stages in and around the Stockholm area got smashed and bashed by the groovy riffing that is the trademark of GRANDE.
The current setting of GRANDE was completed at the turn of the decade by new drummer Wikforss and soon after this the gruesome threesome really started to make a name for themselves with live gigs including appearences with Swedish greats such as Mustasch, The Kristet Utseende, Mass Murder Agenda and Sideburn.
By late December 2011 the band started recording their debut album at Sunlight Studio with producer Tomas Skogsberg, known for his work with Entombed, The Hellacopters and Refused to name a few. Finally mastered by Peter In de Betou (Meshuggah, Opeth, etc), the album is ready to be released upon the waiting masses

The gruesome threesome:
Dingvall - Bass & Beer
Kaveryd - Guitar & Voc
Wikforss - Drums & Hair



Grande chip and chunk riffs away like they’re digging shallow graves for listeners.  Squeal-y guitars eat from the trough of southern metal.  Ultra-aggro lyrics and beautiful violence grace the imagery the band puts in the listener’s mind.  Judicious use of double kick leading into half speed groove makes a headbanging recipe of ‘hospital visit’ proportions.  But this isn’t heaviness for heaviness’ sake.  Melody rears its permed and perfumed head early and often throughout this disc.

Reviewers love it when bands get really proggy and explore multiple soundscapes and song structures because it gives us something to blab on about, but we secretly love it when bands come along and blow all that stuff out of the water with some head down powerhouse rock and roll that smashes through brick walls of pretentiousness.  Look at that, I just described the band!  And here I thought I needed the band to stick out like a sore thumb.

No, the truth is this isn’t anything you haven’t heard before, this is southern / stoner metal.  But it is of a very high order indeed.  The influences are as obvious and apparent as they are essential: Down, Corrosion of Conformity, Black Sabbath, Black Label Society, Pantera … you get the picture.  Stop me if I’m simply listing your music library.  I know all of those bands play a big part of mine.  Despite the lack of true originality, ‘Grande’ is a killer listen.  If nothing else, the band is playing a brand of stoner / southern metal no longer heard in the current incarnations of those all-time greats.  That alone makes Grande relevant.  The grooves are familiar but all the more effective for it.  And at the end of the day, if all we wanted was something different all the time, we’d all be listening to windy and pointless single note compositions with titles like, “A single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat”, wouldn’t we?

What we get with Grande however is a smorgasbord of riffs, fist in the face heaviness and quite a number of notes all strung together and played really fast.  Sound good?  If you’re looking for a place to start, opening track “Treating the Symptoms” just smashes noses with its Pantera power groove.  It gets the blood pumping straight off and the heart rate never drops far down after that.

 “Souldier” is another standout track.  Man is it ever, C.o.C. menace pervades the verse while an Alice in Chains screaming harmony conquers listeners on the chorus.  “Nothing To Hide” follows much the same pattern, but adds an acoustic interlude as a middle 8.  Okay, so the band has some tricks up their sleeves, alright?  The point is this: turn your brain off and rock out to this record!

In the final analysis, Grande drags the same waters as newer bands like Desert Storm and VolumeFeeder.  If you dig on those sounds, and those of the legendary bands listed above, I don’t see any reason on Earth why not to check this band out.  And if you do, I guarantee you will band your head and throw the horns.

Words by : Lucas Klaukien

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch. This record is available digitally via Itunes. Thanks to Henrik Kaveryd for hooking us up with the record for review.