Naturmacht Productions, 25.02.17
The Siberian duo Grima is back with their melancholic forest poems. The Russians debuted near the end of 2015, and I was far from impressed. Devotion to Lord was pretty enough, but as usual when it comes to post-metallic atmospheric “black” metal, the album sounded like absolutely everything that roams within the same generic framework.
Your truly is slightly more satisfied with Tales of the Enchanted Woods, which manages to sound a touch more distinctive. Albeit not quite enough for a recommendation.
The genre is largely too monotonous to appeal me, but I will as usual try to analyse the music with partly unbiased eyes. After hearing marvellous The Moon And Its Shadows on-line, I simply couldn't keep my fingers away. The song uses the accordion in a very appropriate and appealing way, and the instrument feels perfect for the setting. The peace and tranquillity of mother nature in a chosen exile in a notched log cabin could actually benefit from more accordion.
The music also uses synthetic violins and other effects, as well as female backing vocals to create diversity and reinforce the mournful moods. In Wolfberry, the Russians also apply other instruments, including balalaika. The latter primarily gives me a vague sense of Italian mandolin, funnily enough. I'm not quite sure exactly why, but at least both instruments belong to the lute family.
The melodies are neat, but not breathtakingly beautiful and memorable. The music contains more ingredients and is performed with improved sound compared to last time, but is in the grand scheme of things another product of a genre reluctant of applying any major surprise. After five songs, the uneventful feeling of sitting on the porch outside a log cabin in the woods drinking blackcurrant hot toddy while waiting for something – anything – to happen, begins eating at me. Fortunately a sorely missed accordion returns in the title track, but not enough to satisfy my appetite.
The drumming is decent, but not particularly intricate. The guitar is run of the mill. I scarcely noticed the growling vocals unless Vilhelm throws in a hoarse howl. The gentle expression and the mild and quiet atmosphere has a mood of resignation, as if one's just sitting there like grey-haired oldsters waiting for nature to reclaim ones souls. Without any rawness or action, Tales of the Enchanted Woods and similar releases feels like mediocre pensioner-metal. Apparently, I don't master the meticulous and nuanced equilibrium of objectivity very well. Oh well, fuck balanced neutrality. Rating: 3