It seems that for many years I’ve been mis-using the words “bombastic” and “grandiose” in my scribblings about music. As an acquaintance more literate than I recently pointed out to myself and others, the dictionary defines “bombastic” as “high-sounding but with little meaning”, “inflated”, and “given exaggerated importance by artificial or empty means”, while it specifies that “grandiose” refers to an “affectation of grandeur or splendor” or something characterized by “absurd exaggeration”.
What I’ve often intended by those words, though clearly failing to express the intention accurately, is music that’s dazzling in its power, perhaps ornate in its trappings, resplendent in its atmosphere of vaulting majesty — music that’s grand instead of grandiose. Those are among the impressions I had when first listening to the music from Grimorium Verum’s new album, Revenant, including the album’s opening song which we’re presenting today — “The Born Son of the Devil“.
Symphonic metal bands, including symphonic black metal bands, can be guilty of theatrical excess, and of using the dramatic emotional power (and sonic power) of orchestral instrumentation in ways that just don’t fit very well, as if tacked on in a futile effort to give a mediocre song the kind of gravitas or inspirational effect that were beyond its creators’ grasp. But in the Grimorium Verum song you’re about to hear, it is integrated with other elements of sound in a way that well-serves the music’s overarching atmosphere and its dynamism.
No doubt, the song is constructed to build dramatic power, beginning with the ominous pulsations of strings and the hammering of timpani in the song’s introduction, while also introducing a mystical aspect to the sensations through the rippling of piano keys, which add a glimmering, ethereal nuance. And then suddenly, the music swells in intensity, the drums thundering and snapping, the keyboard music soaring, the lyrical proclamations vented in a scalding goblin-like snarl. Blasting percussion and heavy, furious riffing turn the mood in a grim and sinister direction, with harsh roars conjoined with those wrenching shrieks in the chorus.
But the crescendo of this satanic pageant is yet to come, preceded by an interlude of organ music and choral voices rising in reverence. The choir continues to lift their voices as the music again swells in power, reaching a climax with the aid of a fiery guitar solo.
Revenant is this Russian band’s fourth album in a career that began in 1996 (with a long hiatus that preceded the release of their first album in 2008). It will be jointly released on May 5th by Symbol Of Domination (Belarus) and three U.S. labels — Cimmerian Shade Recordings, The True Plague, and Black Metal Records. Pre-order links are below, along with the full track list.
We’ve also included three more previously released tracks — “The Resurrected On the Devil’s Hands”, “Blind Faith In Nothing”, and “The Circus of the Dark Illusion” (a free download at Bandcamp) — in addition to our premiere of “The Born Son of the Devil”.
Grimorium Verum are a band from Russia that has had an album reviewed before in this zine and plays a very symphonic form of black metal and this is a review of their 2018 album "Revenant" which was released as a joint effort between Symbol Of Domination Productions, Cimmerian Shade Recordings, The True Plague and Black Metal Records.
Symphonic sounding synths start off the album and also mixes into the heavier sections of the songs while the riffs also bring in a great amount of melody along with the vocals being mostly grim black metal screams and when the music speeds up a great amount of tremolo picking and blast beats can also be heard.
Throughout the recording you can also hear a great mixture of slow, mid paced and fast parts while a great portion of the tracks are very long and epic in length along with the solos and leads being done in a very melodic style and some songs also add in elements of thrash and death metal growls as well as a brief use of female vocals and as the album progresses clean male vocals are also added onto the recording, there is also a brief instrumental before returning back to a heavier direction on the following tracks.
Grimorium Verum creates another recording that remains true to the symphonic style of black metal from their previous release, the production sounds very professional while the lyrics cover Satanism and Occultism themes.
In my opinion this is another great sounding recording from Grimorium Verum and if you are a fan of symphonic black metal, you should check out this album.
Il recente ritorno dei Dimmu Borgir, campioni indiscussi del symphonic black metal, potrebbe e dovrebbe far accendere nuovamente i riflettori su un sottogenere che ha sempre continuato ad offrire ottime band rimaste, però, nell’ombra a causa dello scemare dell’interesse dei fans per questo sonorità, causa appunto la lunga contumacia dei nomi di punta.
I russi Grimorium Verum non possono essere certo considerati dei neofiti, visto che i loro primi passi risalgono alla fine dello scorso millennio, anche se il primo full length è datato 2008, seguito poi da quelli successivi pubblicati con precisa cadenza triennale.
Revenant è così l’ultimo in ordine di tempo e ci dimostra una band di buono spessore, capace di maneggiare con disinvoltura e buon gusto melodico una materia insidiosa per il forte rischio di debordare che è insita nelle sue caratteristiche.
Forse dieci brani ed un’ora di durata sono un qualcosa di troppo per uno stile musicale così pieno e quindi a forte rischio di saturare l’ascoltatore: ciò non toglie che il buon gusto melodico dei nostri consenta loro di mettere in scena ottime tracce come l’opener The Born Son of the Devil, The Light of Dark Father e The Great Serpentine Saint, esemplari nella loro sintesi tra sonorità estreme, l’impeto atmosferico delle tastiere e le repentine incursioni melodiche della chitarra solista.
Insomma, al netto della prevedibile mancanza di spunti innovativi, l’operato dei Grimorium Verum è decisamente apprezzabile perché Revenant scorre via piuttosto bene senza neppure annoiare nonostante qualche soluzione tenda alla lunga a ripetersi.
Non ci troviamo al cospetto di qualcuno che occupa i piani alti del symphonic black ma neppure di musicisti relegati nei bassifondi , anzi: Andy Felon e Roma Diamond meritano un plauso per un’offerta che non deluderà alla fine chi predilige queste sonorità.
Grimorium Verum are a Russian black metal band that have been going for over 20 years now. Their latest album Revenant (released May 2018) is their best album yet. According to their press release “Revenant” is a true journey to the dark corners of the soul. If that’s the mood they are going for, well they damn well achieved it!
Personally I am not the greatest fan of Symphonic Black Metal (well to be fair I am not a fan of Symphonic metal either) I found way too many of these bands to be so way over blown and generally corny but Grimorium Verum know how to be dramatic and build emotion without being cheesy.
I also want to add in case you are not aware the band uses a drum machine but it works perfectly for them (I know some of you guys hate bands that use artificial drums)
If you love old school Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir then the Revenant is for you.
American fans note that this is a co-release with Russian label Satanath Records and American labels Cimmerian Shade Recordings (USA), The True Plague (USA), Black Metal Records (USA) so ya will not have to mail order overseas to get your copy.