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Grima - Tales Of The Enchanted Woods Award winner

Tales Of The Enchanted Woods
by Gabriel “Svrtr” Zimmerman at 24 May 2017, 8:22 AM

As I sit here trying to think of some clever or witty opening, I can’t do it because of the band I get to present. Today I present what is undoubtedly the best release of 2017 I have heard yet, and I am at a loss for words trying to describe the wonder and amazement I felt listening to this track. Today I get to present the two man Russian Atmospheric Black Metal project GRIMA and their newest release "Tales of the Enchanted Woods." Hailing from the frozen winter forest of Siberia, the band’s lyrical themes revolve around the same thing, focusing on pagan elements such as the mysticism of the forest and a supreme deity of the woods named GRIMA. I hate to keep anyone waiting on this band, so I will just dive right in.

In total, there are eight tracks, with three being instrumentals. The instrumentals are “The Sentry Peak”, “Wolfberry”, and “The Sorrow Bringer”. The average run time of a track is about seven minutes and the instrumentals are about 2-4 minutes. I hate to cut any of the songs short on this album, but for the sake of brevity I will say that every single one of the instrumentals are masterfully composed and incredibly performed and should not be skipped under any circumstances, yet this statement applies to the entirety of the album.

With that out of the way, the album properly begins with “The Moon and Its Shadows”, and there is never a dull moment, never a moment where you aren’t enraptured by the song. There is everything in this song, heavier elements and incredible riffs for those who want that and beautiful melody and incredible structure to those who seek something a bit more cerebral. Employing more Folk-ish elements and instruments in well deserving ways, using a more ghostly and distant clean vocals to cause an incredible effect to add to the atmosphere and create a beautiful contrast to the Black Metal gutturals and shrieks, and I couldn’t go on without mentioning amazing bass work. I really cannot find a single thing wrong with this song. The lyrics, the vocals, the transition between melody and technicality, the incorporation of clean vocals and folk elements, the progression of the song, the seemingly flawless execution, I have listened to this song an incredible number of times and never once was it dull and never once could I find some way to fault it. Please, do yourself a favor and never miss out on this song.

Following this is “Ritual”, which opts for heavier incorporation of Folk-ish elements and  has a far slower pace, putting more strain on the “atmospheric part”. This is further augmented by the employment of a choir that can be heard further into the song. As the name of the genre implies, the song is incredibly atmospheric, perfectly creating a sort of otherworldly/ethereal sound that captures the thought of a mystical and unknowable forest of ancient magics. The thought of the song having a seemingly slower pace never once occurs to you as you are already too deep into the sound of the song to even notice. Again, there is seemingly nothing that can be criticized here. The next song is “Never Get Off the Trail” (following the instrumental “Wolfberry”), and listening to the opening alone, you would never have guessed it was an atmospheric black metal band nor that this is only their second studio release, believing they must have been doing what they are for ages past. The opening you hear further demonstrates their skill and flexibility, as well as the atmospheric elements in the song. This song is best described by the word “dichotomy”, for it simultaneously contains the most melodic and atmospheric aspects as well as the most “brutal” and metal aspects too, through the employment of stretches of music like the opening and more combined with stretches of eerie ethereal clean vocals and instrumentals that never once detract from the song. The ability to interchange between these two incredibly different sounds is an ability that GRIMA seems to have mastered despite the incredibly young age of their band. I must say that you could not pay me to find a noticeable and ever present fault with the band as I cannot find one. Sadly, it is here I must end so I do not create a novella of a review.

Though I do not have the space to review “The Grief” or “The Shepherd of the Mountains and Plains”, trust me when I say never skip these songs either. They are as flawless as everything else on this album.  What GRIMA have done is they have made a flawless masterpiece of melody, technicality, black metal, and atmosphere that never once lets you free of its hypnotic beauty, they have captured you in the mystical beauty of the silent and ancient forest. In short, they have created a masterpiece, and as of yet they have undoubtedly created what I consider to be the best album released in 2017. Please, if you have a bucket list make sure that listening to this album is on there. Stay classy and stay pagan GRIMA, and never stop making music.

Songwriting 10
Originality 10
Memorability 10
Production 10

5 Star Rating

1. The Sentry Peak
2. The Moon and Its Shadows
3. Ritual
4. Wolfberry
5. Never Get Off the Trail
6. The Grief
7. The Shepherd of the Mountains and Plains
8. The Sorrow Bringer
Morbius - Guitar, Bass
Vilhelm - Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboard
Record Label: Naturmacht Productions


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