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Seeing its initial release back in November 2008, this second full-length by the Italian Black Metal trio GRIMNESS must have suffered from some really bad marketing and publicity, flying under the radar of everyone but a few fans. Listening to the newly arrived promo, in June the year after release, it's a damn shame that "Trust In Decay" didn't get any more attention upon its release, since this is a damn fine piece of modern Black Metal.
Taking cues from bands like SATYRICON, GRIMNESS depend on some catchy hooks and a rather clean production to sharpen their art. However, unlike Mr. Wongraven and Mr. Haraldstad, the songs are centered around progressive structures instead of only simple rock and roll riffs (not that there aren't any of those here), which gives them a hard edge against the Moonfog-lads. Meanwhile, the at times grandiose melodies nods towards the direction of DISSECTION, which serves as another dimension to some otherwise straightforwards riffs. The variation is just prominent enough to keep things interesting, but never at the expense of a strong focus. These guys knows exactly what direction they want to go in, and they never seem to lose sight of that fuzzy apocalyptic feeling we all know and love.
If you think the last few outputs from Satyr & co were a bit lacking in the soul and testicle-department, GRIMNESS might be exactly what you need. The only thing they need to do now is change that horrible band-name, as this is very far from the tin-can winterdemon-sound you'd expect from looking at the name. On second thought, that might be why the band hasn't received the attention they deserve yet. Problem solved, guys!
(Online June 13, 2009)
Written for the Metal Observer