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Grand Sermon - Massive Domain (CD)

Grand Sermon
Massive Domain
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 03 January 2011, 8:01 PM

Where the hell these guys were before? Since 1997 this band or project has been activated and nothing came out. However, the moment has finally happened and this group of experienced players released their debut. The group is the German GRAND SERMON, their album is "Massive Domain". Just from looking at their logo you can only presume extremity and brutality. And yes, that is what it is, grand old school and technical Death Metal. Signed to MDD Records, this pack, arranged by members from NECROPHAGIST, PARADOXand SOUL DEMISE, turn the switch from their modern type bands, aside from PARADOX, and did a nice infusion with the 80s legacy of Death Metal.

Probably what made this album special, even if it is rather far from being complete, is that although the direction of GRAND SERMON seem to go to the old school ,and it can be judged by their sound, themes and sections from their style of playing, is that they took a modern like technicality and dropped into the bloody pit of old Death Metal. By keeping the elements that made old school Death Metal so great and by taking a lead from bands as early DEATH, OBITUARY& BENEDICTION, SIX FEET UNDER, DECAPITATEDand SINISTER, the flow of the material is brutally diverse, whether running in maniacal speed or slithering slowly, and essentially it brought back good memories of fine releases of the past.

Alongside the music there is the sound, I believe that good Death Metal deserve a fine tuning for a sound production. Well, for me its the old type of sound as it should be chunky, without too much gain to preserve accuracy and to let the bass to the work and I am not forgetting the full sound of the drum set, something that very much resembles DEATH's first three albums from the mid to late 80s. In overall, the job done in the production is great, although there a few spots were the lead guitars shouldn't have crossed swords with the drums, but sometimes stuff like that can occur. As long as it don't happen too much, that is fine with me.

GRAND SERMON's material might be diverse as the band attempted to cross the boundaries just as every Tech Death Metal bands do occasionally. The tunes are crushing with a sense of class as their mentor and it can be found on blasters as "The Cruel King", "Banks Of Acheron" and the wonderful pick for a cover "Shrine Of The Master". However, in various moments throughout the release there is a sort of a repetition and too much basic song structures. It is very surprising that this thing happens because, I am talking about a Tech Death Metal outfit. The best example for this notion is "I Touched The Depths To Reach The Heights", a track that started out with a massive assault but didn't go as good as I expected it to continue. Nevertheless, basic song structures can be fine and sometimes even repetition and for evidence you have"…When Nothing Shines" and "The Gardens Of Minos". But if those two elements turn negative by contracting a sort of boredom and even cause some of the material to be uninteresting, those partially dismantle the bloody experience of what was meant to be accomplished by this group.

Therefore I say that "Massive Domain" turned out well for GRAND SERMON, but only as a starting point. It is expected that those experienced players, who chose a great direction follow through, will blast me to bits with their next album.

3 Star Rating

  1. I Touched The Depths To Reach The Heights
  2. Morass Of The Wrathful Souls3
  3. …When Nothing Shines
  4. Banks Of Acheron
  5. The Gardens Of Minos
  6. Cerberus
  7. Massive Domain
  8. The Cruel King
  9. Shrine Of The Master (Brutality Cover)
Martin Buchmann - Guitar
Kevin Godin - Vocals
Stephan Fimmers - Bass
Jan Sotiriu - Drums
Record Label: MDD Records


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Edited 07 December 2021

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