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"Denmark isn’t exactly famous when it comes to death metal, but it’s quite obvious that their best band has to be Iniquity, even if they only released just a handful of material. In fact, I’ve never heard a more dominating force in the death metal scene than Iniquity when they were around, but sadly, they broke up a few years ago and that tragic blow still hits me hard, especially when listening to “Grime”.
There’s already been some reviews done for Iniquity’s albums, such as Serenadium and Iniquity Bloody Iniquity, even if the last one is just a giant compilation of all their work. However, I feel that I am reviewing the best one yet, and that is “Grime”. Everything just feels so much faster and heavier than their previous efforts, and it just flat out kicks you in the balls and steals your lunch money, but instead of fuming with rage and wanting to splatter that bastard’s head against the wall, you’re actually rather welcome to the idea of letting this band and album continuously beat you to a bloody pulp. It’s just a marauding force of meaty death metal riffs with devastating deep growls and drumming to match.
Now, don’t get me wrong, “Serenadium” and “Five Across The Eyes” are a killer albums, but “Grime” is just one of those discs that you can’t help but want to snap your neck due to excessive headbanging, plus I’m more of a fan of the faster and more brutal death metal, so it immediately appeals to my tastes. Songs like “Thawed for Breeding” and “The Bullets Breath” show the band at their absolute peak of brutality.
One of the best aspects of this album has to be the vocals, because this band has had one of the best growlers in existence, and I don’t think anybody will be able to ever replace Mads Haarlev and what he has created. There really is no stupid analogy that can be made to say how good he is, and not to mention his quickness in spitting out lyrics. Another incredible attribute about this album and band is that it’s just not constant blastbeats and double bass drumming. Each song has it’s own unique formula and Jesper really stuck it to us all. It’s completely well throughout brutal death metal with musically technical orgasms strewn about, and when you hear it, you really hear it.
On a whole, everything is just top-notch. I’m one of those people who think “if you can’t headbang to it, then why listen to it?” And this album just tosses that elitist attitude around like a rag doll after some hot steamy man-on-album sex. The tracks that really fucking stand out to me would have to be “The Bullets Breath”, “Thawed for Breeding”, “Poets of the Trench (Part I & II)”, “Bloodletting”, and “Spawn of the Abscess”. It’s songs like that that will make Iniquity forever legendary in my book.
Seriously, if you’re a fan of death metal of any kind, I would highly recommend… no, fuck that, I would ORDER you to go buy the masterpiece that is called “Grime”. Iniquity, you have stolen my heart once again.
One day, Iniquity, one day you will reunite to play some metal festivals, and when you do, I will be the first one there to break my neck to whatever it is you’ll be playing (oh god, I hope so)."
Originally written for Global Domination:
I first found out of Iniquity by their parody appearance in "Growl Karaoke", an online Flash movie that plays the song "The Bullets Breath" with funny, senseless lyrics. But apart from the funny little game, I played the song over and over again, because I couldn't believe that someone could play such awesome guitar riffs, have such a heavy sounding guitar and I was absolutely blown away by the guttural growls, which I thought were impossible to reproduce.
After this encounter, I listened to the entire Grime album and fell in love with Iniquity. The mind-blowing riffs, the unbelievable drum fills and never-ending double bass drum, the absolutely heavy sounding guitar, it was all just too good to pass by. Every song had its own charm, from powerful riffs to extreme rhythm changes to just plain head banging material. When I read the lyrics, I was able to finally understand what Death Metal was all about; the admiration for gore and for violence, but always keeping in mind the image of death and aggression. I had finally found the band that embodied what Death Metal truly was to me. As far as I'm concerned, Iniquity is the way which true Death Metal bands should sound like: aggressive, brutal, heavy, violent, fast, and filled with honesty and uncensored thoughts.
In terms of the music, Grime is a complex mix of rhythms, constantly changing time signatures and tempo, playing with off-speed riffs, followed by blindingly fast picking and double bass drum blasts. The drop-A tuning gives a whole different dimension to the sound of the songs, but the guitar is perfectly equalized to be just understandable, allowing every note to be played fluently, without loosing that heavy metallic sound. The use of harmonics is superb, coming in at just the right moments, allowing the "psycho" atmosphere to take its full effect. The growls are the perfect complement for the low-tuned guitar and the omnipresent double bass drum, using full use of guttural sounds, "flemish" screams and barely using a true vocal sound, creating an "out of this world" demonic sounding growl. The only thing I missed was a more powerful bass playing, but I guess no one is perfect.
As for the lyrical content, Iniquity ventures into different aspects of the human spirit, going through sadness, violence, hatred, gore, melancholy and contemplation of the unknown. The album explores these themes in poetic fashion, creating images of machine cities, rotting corpses, and an omnipresent witness to this world of maiming, violence, torture, without really being able to do anything about it, yet enjoying the rush of this introspection of the true human soul. Iniquity is embracing the darkness of mankind, exposing it without tampering, without false implications. The problem is none of these messages can be transmitted without actually reading the lyrics, as trying to decipher the guttural growls is almost impossible. Nonetheless, the music itself is somehow able to transmit these ideas through its own sound, as if the words weren't really necessary.
On the whole, Grime is an excellent album, a true example of what Death Metal can achieve, both technically and artistically. Iniquity is, to me, the essence of Death Metal, the grand example of what this genre should be. Of course, there are many other bands that have done their share of art in the genre, and Iniquity is not as well known as to perhaps receive the title of "geniuses of Death Metal", but that doesn't undermine their efforts as artists or diminish the importance of their message. And it is with albums such as Grime that Iniquity is able to express their ideals of Death Metal, which I receive with full appreciation and gratefulness, as with them I have learnt what Death Metal truly is.
This album is awesome. I was a bit surprised when I popped this into my cd player. Being that most brutal death metal is extremely complex and hard to comprehend when you first hear it, this was different. It's fully packed with very fast guitar, but with somewhat technical melodic tunes to it, so you can get into to it. The drummer barely ever stops playing the bass drum, except at the temporary slow parts in the album. The vocals are extremely gutteral, actually, more gutteral than usual. It's impossible to understand him without the lyrics, but if you read along, you'll probably be able to stay with him.
There are some kick-ass catchy songs with very catchy beats, such as my favorite, "Bullets Breath". It starts out with just fast guitar, and then the drums kick in and the brutality begins. It's a great song to play on a boom box and blast in your house. Also, track 9 has a nice beat you can headbang too as well.
Downsides to Grime are the production was flabby, and the bass drum sounded flappy, and gets annoying after sometime. Also, there are some songs on this that just suck, and you can tell they are running out of good ideas. But, with technical fast guitar, brutal drumming, and low growls, it's not a bad idea to check them out.
Ok, now granted...Not every band can consistently top themselves, but Iniquity have always been the Cadillac of Danish Death Metal; Heavy and well appointed. Their first three releases are nothing short of classics if you ask me.
Thus, I had extremely high expectations for this disc. Let's just say I was a little bit disappointed. Allow me to explain further.
I popped this in and was greeted with an immediate frenzy of blasts and the archetypical Iniquity riff, which is essentially harmonic laden and raw as hell. I thought to myself "Wow, this is good". And it was. The next song 'The Bullet's Breath' (Which happens to be my favorite) further reinforced my feeling that album was going to be a tour de force of brutality. The next song followed in suit, and the album was still going strong....
But then, something went horribly wrong....
Bloodletting went by without even one of those moments that are so common on Iniquity albums where you want to rewind and replay over and over again. I was now thinking "Ok, maybe that was just the album's token bad song". I was wrong. The next I don't know how many tracks went by and not one riff, not one single drumroll, not one single vocal flourish did jump out at me and force me to take notice. They aren't all bad, just not up to the standards set by 'Serenadium' or 'Five Across the Eyes'.
In short, this album blows it's load way too quickly and leaves you wanting that kick in the face the first few songs provided. But it never comes. On a good note, though...The release has a great production, and every instrument comes in loud and clear. I'm not talking 'great' as in crystalline and pretty, but I mean 'great' as in gritty and very aggressive.
Bottom line: While this does have it's redeeming qualities, such as the first three songs (Which are beyond godly) and a killer mix....
You could probably do without this one unless you're a diehard fan.
Seek out 'Five Across the Eyes' instead, and get killed.