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The Essence of Death Metal - 96%

Dead_Wolf, November 24th, 2006

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.