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Look for Him in the Deepest Abomination - 93%

TheStormIRide, April 22nd, 2016
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, Aesthetics of Devastation

“Before trying to find God in Beauty, look for Him in the deepest abomination”

Grey Heaven Fall is a Russian black/death metal project formed in 2006. After a string of demos, the band released their debut ...Grey Heaven Fall in 2011 followed by a split with fellow Russian black metal horde Twilight Is Mine. In 2015 the band returned with their sophomore album, Black Wisdom, which was released through the Russian collective, Aesthetics of Devastation. The band has received largely positive reviews across the board, for both the debut and follow up, but the group has gone largely unnoticed in the general black metal community, which is an utter travesty.

Black Wisdom is a fifty-one minute opus of bleak decrepitude, drawn out across a canvas of six tracks. While the album is rooted firmly in the realms of black/death metal, with pulverizing rhythms and bursts of diabolical trem riffs bolstered by blasting percussion, Grey Heaven Fall manage to cast a wide net of styles and seamlessly weave them into pummeling sound. Traces of melodic doom and atmospheric backdrops rear their heads, often steering the sound towards the ethereal, and melodic guitar licks effortlessly lift away from rumbling blackened death metal riffs. In essence, the album focuses on crushing heaviness juxtaposed with sweeping melodies, yet it never loses sight of the blackened histrionics.

“Because the words, that God said, aren't food for those whose hearts are fading away.”

Striking off with a destructive swarm of noisy riffing and frenetic, high intensity drumming, Black Wisdom begins with a bang. The album is frenetic yet controlled, with a sense of serenity among the pummeling, jagged patterns, with the band offering songs that flow together like a well oiled machine. There's a lot going on at all times, and it's quite an exhaustive and immersive listen, but repeated listening sessions consistently reveal the band's incredible attention to detail: there is no wasted space; and there are no ill-fitting riffs or poorly timed movements. Swirling riffs with sweeping, underlying melodies dance with frenetic drumming that has some rather impressive handiwork and fills, while deep, unearthly growls bellow from the depths.

Comparisons have been made to acts like Deathspell Omega and Svartidauði, and, really, some of the more dissonant passages do have similarities, but Grey Heaven Fall offers a different beast altogether. Rather than being rooted in avant-garde tomfoolery, Black Wisdom remains a black metal album despite its constant and meticulous tinkering. The album offers a strong mix of dark and brooding black metal with touches of introspective melodies and crushing death metal, with a slight dissonant, avant-garde bent to the songwriting. Honestly, this is one of the best examples of the thriving Russian black metal scene, and one that should give new hope to those who feel the black metal world has plateaued.