|Gloomy Grim - Under The Spell Of The Unlight
26 May 2008
01. April - Within The Woods
02. May - Why Are They Screaming At Night?
03. June - Åkerspöke
04. July - Cold Fingers
05. August - So I Slept & Slept
06. September - Invoking The Flames (Burn, Burn, Burn)
07. October - Cellar Dweller
08. Novemer - And The Bird Came In
09. December - The Bells Toll My Name
10. January - Dying Breed
11. February - Astral Planes I Have Travelled Through
12. March - The Call
Gloomy Grim has long had a special place in the world of synthonic© black metal and their latest release, Under The Spell Of The Unlight, now through Anticulture Records, is basically more of the same cheese, with little noticeable evolution. Unlike bigger names in the sub-genre, Gloomy Grim don't seem to take themselves terribly seriously, which makes their pompous, cheesy music charming, rather than irritating.
Or at least, this was usually the case. Gloomy Grim have progressively been trying to tone down the corny aspect of their music, and Under The Spell Of The Unlight follows this direction. This is particularly noticeable in how the guitars are arranged and structured into riffs. For the most part, the band is capable of conjuring some fairly memorable passages, and tracks such as "May: Why Are They Screaming At Night?", "January: Dying Breed" and "October: Cellar Dweller" are good examples of this. Black metal chords, some death metal leanings, nothing ground breaking perhaps, but acceptable nonetheless. Luckily, the band hasn't grown up completely - the hilarious spoken word "August: So I Slept & Slept" and various other grin-inducing grade-Z horror movie keyboard passages are entertaining as hell.
And this is essentially the problem with this release. If the band stuck to their guns and focused on making hilariously campy black metal, the name Gloomy Grim would rightfully be associated with a bloody good time. You know, the kind of fun you can have with a few crates of beer and some mates, enjoying funny music for its genius at being so bad that its good. Sadly, on Under The Spell Of The Unlight, Gloomy Grim try too hard to be more mature and the result is music that is only mildly entertaining and otherwise mediocre. Well, OK - there are still plenty of laughs here, but there could be more.
Gloomy Grim should focus on one clear direction. I say go for the humour, we all know more of that is needed in the gloomy and grim world of black metal. Under The Spell Of The Unlight isn't a bad joke, but neither is it a very good one, or better than the comedy that the band committed to tape in the past.
Written on 28.05.2008 by
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.