Reviews, interviews, articles, and other blather about music from the mind of Yugoboy

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Grieved - Samaritans


    Sweden-based heavy metal quartet Grieved's new album Samaritans opens with a nicely classic doom metal instrumental before becoming a black-doom metal album of some skill and lots of screaming vocals.  Various descriptions have them as a hardcore punk band and a dark metal outfit.  Their guitar skills and the interludes come across too well-performed and produced to really keep them in the punk genre.  I love punk, but this ain't it.  It's metal, straight up.  The one place where the band keeps a fairly punk mindset is in the credits.  On-line I had a beast of a time finding out who did what in the band, as all I can find is a list of four first names, who I'm assuming at the quartet in question: Tobias, Marcus, Felix and William.  Most metal bands don't keep this level of democratic moderation beyond the demo-tape stage.
    When the screaming stops and the band isn't hitting turbo to keep up with that intensity, the band fairly mellows into full-on dirge doom sounds.  During the portions of the tunes where singing is taking place, the band turns the speed up, not to speed metal tempo, but certainly into death metal territory.
    Their style allows each track to stand on its own and have a distinct sound.  This places them above a number of more traditional death metal acts whose every song sounds similar, however, the incoherence of the vocals keeps Samaritans from really elevating into that second tier of real excellence, where Exodus, Tempest and other loud acts live, with lyrics that can be sung along to.  This is straight-up head-banging mosh fuel, and does a good job of that.
    Despite a track list eight songs long, Samaritans probably gets categorized as an EP, if only because the total run time is closer to fifteen minutes than an hour.  It's understandable, given the intensity of the music and the toll the effort must take on the body.

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