Grimm - Dark Medieval Folklore - 3.5/5
Rarely do I have this much fun listening to a Black Metal album. Admittedly, the instrumentation leaves much to be desired, but hell, I don`t think there`s any other Metal album that can make me want to get up and dance. And I did, too.
The band has gone through many personel changes through the years, but now only two members remain, Heer Marchosias and Heer Antikrist. That would explain why the album is so simple. The drums are used in such a way as to create a beat for the song and nothing more. The guitars seldomly go in any direction other than that of the beat created by the drums, adding only melody to rhythm. They remind me of the guitars on Dei Kaberoi, which I reviewed earlier, except more simple. The end result is something resembling a large symbal being pounded on over and over again. This sounds very negative, but after a while, you`ll be forced into contention by the hypnotic, almost monotonous beats. Surprisingly, what appears to take the lead sounds like a violin. No, not a violin, a fiddle, like you hear with Kopriklaani - very basic, in fact I`m not even sure if it`s a real fiddle or a synthesizer, but it provides the few shreads of "wandering melody" which can be found on this album.
The vocals, however, are a bit more interesting. They almost exclusively make use of the type of clean vocals that one expects from Borknagar, except less imposing, which, I believe, is down to poor production values. But, and this is the interesting part, there`s also a very limited use of "unclean" vocals. Simply telling you what they are won`t give the desired effect, so I`ll attempt to illustrate what happened when I first heard them: I was in the kitchen making hot chocolate when this album was playing for the first time. As the kettle boiled, I suddenly heard the most terrible screams coming from my bedroom. I actually thought someone was being murdered in there. These were no vocals. They were plain screams. Open your mouth and scream and you`ll know how they sound.
That`s about it. The entire album consists of these few things. There is also a small use of synthesizers, most notably in the first track, but nothing spectacular. Other than that the album exists entirely of almost addictive drum beats, rhythmic melody provided by the guitar, a bit of fiddling and some low-pitched clean vocals. It`s an almost a Satyricon-like simplicity which they have achieved here. They managed to express every idea they had perfectly. Does this mean that they`re exceptionally talented? No. They simply didn`t aim too high. But what they did aim for, they achieved.
One major complaint, though, is that the songs come to feel a bit long-winded after a while. But that notwithstanding, I think that with their brand of Motorhead-esque ballz, combined with a very folksy beat, they might just be the first in a bread of bastard children: the fun Black Metallers.
Highlights: Germaanse Stampdans, Klughtspel Der Duyvelsbanders
Over the years this has grown into my own personal project, reviewing the artists that I discover and interest me. If you wish to see more of my work, particularly my more metal-orientated material, you can find me as a regular contributor for the online magazine