I only found out about Romania’s Grimegod after missing out on them on the Rockstadt Extreme Fest 2017 festival. I’m a bit disappointed about it, since “Wrong Roads” is a solid slice of death/doom metal. I often prefer my death/doom more angsty and aggressive. Raw, down to earth themes tend to beat Swallow the Sun’s polished poetry.
An aggressive take on the death/doom genre
In this way, “Wrong Roads” really delivers. It’s comparable to Décembre Noir’s “Forsaken Earth”, since it has driving aggressive hooks to complement the moody doom parts. There are some pretty catchy start-and-stop parts instrumentally. “Jump into the Void” is a particularly catchy song for the genre, with it’s repeating, infectious chorus line.
The melodic parts sound familiar for the style, but they’re also of high quality; I’d compare the melodicism to Evadne and Helevorn. The emotion is certainly there, which is the most important part for me. There are also some orchestral layers present for additional atmosphere.
Vocally, we’re treated to a mix of deep death metal growls and bleak clean vocals. The growls are good, bringing the vocalists from Evadne, Draconian and Novembers Doom to mind. It’s solid and on par for the genre.
The cleans don’t have much range, but they’re mercilessly depressing. I’d describe them as an improved version of Mikko Kotamäki’s cleans in Swallow the Sun. They sound absolutely defeated. It adds a lot to Grimegod’s overall sound.
The production job accents the dynamics
The production is punchy and sounds similar to Dan Swanö’s job on Evadne’s “The Shortest Way”. It’s far from polished, which fits the start and stop dynamics in the songs. The nice dynamics probably wouldn’t have been as accented with a crystal clear production job.
I’m yet to hear any other Grimegod albums, but “Wrong Roads” should be good enough to make them big in death/doom circles. I enjoy how raw the emotions are expressed on the album. Tunes like “The Envy” and “Jump into the Void” also pack some damn memorable hooks.