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Pagan/Black metal at its best - 89%

nilgoun, July 3rd, 2012

If you translate the name of the band you end up with something like “fear and trembling”, which resembles the thoughts people might have had while thinking about the “Chatten” (if you’re interessted see this link). Regarding this facts, it’s easy to say, that the music probably will be harsher. Upon Bleak Grey Fields is the fourth release they made, although it’s only the second full-length record. The record offers eight tracks with a total playing time of round about 45 minutes.

The intro makes clear, that this record won’t be really entertaining because it’s really innovative as the intro features quite some clichees. First of all there is the sample of the noise of wind combined with a calm acoustic guitar, later they added some spoken vocals. Something you have heard dozens of times before, but it’s still a good way to build up some atmosphere and it’s well done. The following songs won’t be innovative either and they lack sovereignty, but they are really well played and the way in which they combine well known elements is quite good.

The general playing style has to be described as melodic black metal with some slight influences of pagan metal. The riffs could be compared to some stuff the Swedes of Naglfar do, but they are also influenced by melodic black metal bands. At least the vocals, which are screamed quite low-pitched, remind me of Mikael Stanne, but the whole composition sounds somewhat like Dark Tranquillity goes black metal. That also means, that the compositions are of a high quality, although not all of the songs are keeping this high niveau of songs like Eternal Woe. The songs are mostly quite fast, with fast, cold riffs and impelling drums. Compared with the sound of Dark Tranquillity you’d have to say, that it’s way thicker and more organic, which is a huge plus point. As only fast and impelling songs would become quite boring fast, they added many changes in terms of tempo, dynamics and vocal styles. Especially the aforementioned Eternal Woe would be a supreme example as it pends between fast and furious passages and quite slow paced, sublime ones. That’s not the only thing that gets alternated, as the vocals are pending between screamed, clean sung and spoken passages. Sad thing, that not every song features similiar highlights. The production is quite warm, earthy and powerful.

Conclusion:

I didn’t knew Timor et Tremor before this review, but Upon Bleak Grey Fields flashed me. Although the record lacks sovereignty, you can’t say it’s bad. They really understood how to compose melodic black metal, in order to produce quite catchy music, which will nearly force you to whip your head back and forth. They are playing their instruments nearly flawlessly, which means that the only real flaw is the patchy quality of the songs, although none of them is really bad. All in all, this is a really great record. I advice you to visit the bands homepage, as you can listen to one full song there and download all of the previous releases for free!
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Written for http://threnodies.com