Gru – Cosmogenesis - 4/5
When I first was shown Chimp Spanner I thought the work was brilliant; instrumental sci-fi themed concept album pulled off with djent style; a triumph of taking something emerging and adjusting it to come out with something unique, and if this artist is anything to go by he wasn't the only one enamoured with his work. Just half a year on and we have the emergence of another solo artist, one “Piotrek Gruszka” who likely shortened his name to “Gru” to avoid awkward points where people try to pronounce the Polish language and to sound catchier. It's a shame it has thus far failed to work, the unknown and unsigned artist still struggling to get even the attention of those despite offering his debut album for free, with spectacular production values and an ability that is more than deserving of your time.
If I haven't already, let me make this as abundantly clear as I possibly can: if you liked Chimp Spanner, you will like this. If Paul Ortiz had a twin brother who was separated at birth, it would be Gru. I would call this the biggest copycat act since Bonded by Blood (and countless others) thought Exodus' “had a neat sound,” except in both cases nobody's really complaining because the only people who'd notice the similarities are those who would enjoy them both. Each track opens with a glorious ambient intro, electronic synths setting a tone for the guitar masterclass to follow shortly; his abilities on the fretboard never far from the forefront but more than just simply shred out a technical tune, he does it with a sense of melody that never betrays the atmosphere the the rest of the instrumentation is building towards. In terms of proficiency, he must surely rank amongst some of the most incredible guitarists I can name, beating Ortiz at his own game and encroaching on the territory of Tosin Abasi (Animals as Leaders).
The production is nothing short of astounding either, besting many a so called 'professional' recording I've heard and proving once again that a label and big name producers are no longer needed to make a high quality album. The bass guitars are prominent throughout, the rhythmic sections heard but an accompaniment to the background noise rather than a distraction from the forefront. Even the drums seem bizarrely well done, and despite being digitally produced still manage to come off less mechanical than actual drummers! The only thing it lacks is an overarching concept or purpose; it feels a little superficial, atmospheric but at times a little repetitive which for a longer release might become quite problematic, even though he succeeds in varying the pace of tracks remarkably well. One of the discoveries of the year and it was free. Well I never...