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Grorr – Unknown Citizens

Unknown Citizens
by Tim Bolitho-Jones at 19 October 2014, 11:08 AM

That’s a bit of an unusual name isn’t it? Just what the heck is a GRORR? Well before getting further into this review, take a minute to say it out loud in your best low register Death Metal voice.

Suddenly makes a lot more sense doesn’t it, a band has actually named themselves after the death growl noise! And yet despite this, GRORR are not knuckle-headed cavemen with nothing but mosh pits on their agenda. They’re a progressive minded lot and ‘Unknown Citizens’ is an enjoyably bizarre album. Predictably, there’s a fair amount of Death Metal chucked into the blender, but they also touch base with Prog Rock and Tech Metal as well.

The only trouble is that with the popularity of Djent at an all-time high, it’s hard to imagine how they’re going to stand out from the pack. The fact they’re French and deal with very similar music to GOJIRA is also going to be a difficult obstacle to overcome.

But in fairness, that doesn’t mean ‘Unknown Citizens’ is a bad album. Truth be told it’s really very good and has a lot to commend it. Revolving around history’s forgotten everymen, it’s split into three chapters of roughly equal length, each reflecting the mood of the individual it represents.

Thus ‘The Fighter’ is aggressive, confrontational Prog Metal that comes across like DECAPITATED sharing a studio with TESSERACT. ‘The Worker’ is no less heavy, but has a more rhythmic pace. The guitars sound like mechanical gears being ground together and the whole section echoes the feelings of being worn down, day by day, shift after shift. It’s no wonder the first song in this section is called ‘Don’t Fight.’

And then there’s ‘The Dreamer,’ which rounds things off as the most melodic chapter. There are Middle Eastern flourishes cropping up all over this one and it has a sense of genuine humanity underlying their tripped out journey through the soul of a machine. Close your eyes and you could even get high off it.

In other words, ‘Unknown Citizens’ is a real nerd’s album. It’s a bold and ambitious work and perfectly designed for people who spend their spare time dissecting MESHUGGAH songs. Whether they’ll get any success out of it though remains to be seen, because the Djent party is getting dangerously over-crowded and the similarities with JOEL DUPLANTIER’S boys are inescapable.

3 Star Rating

1. The Fighter – Pandemonium
2. The Fighter – Facing Myself
3. The Fighter – Oblivion
4. The Worker – Don’t Try To Fight
5. The Worker – You Know You’re Trapped
6. The Worker – But Still Hope
7. The Dreamer – Unique
8. The Dreamer – A New Circle
10. The Dreamer – Alone At Last
Bertrand – Guitars/Vocals
Gael – Guitars
Yoann – Bass
Jeremy – Drums
Sylvain - Samples
Record Label: Vicisolum Productions


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Edited 03 December 2021

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