GRIMA — Frostbitten (review)

GRIMA — Frostbitten album cover Album · 2022 · Atmospheric Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
When it comes to modern black metal, i frankly have a hard time keeping up with it all so something has to stand out in some way whether that be a personal recommendation, a compelling review or in the case of FROSTBITTEN, the fifth overall studio album from the Russian noise making machine GRIMA, it was the outstanding frosty freaky album cover art that sold me!

And what a nice discovery. So much mediocrity in the world of black metal world and GRIMA is a bonafide talent for sure. While tagged atmospheric black metal, GRIMA has lost none of the second wave furor delivered long ago by likes of Darkthrone, Satyricon, Immortal and beyond. GRIMA has mastered the art of the black metal rampage as if it were just set loose from hell to terrorize humanity all the while mustering up the hypnotic perfection of a well-oiled atmospheric generator. FROSTBITTEN promises what it suggests. A frigid cold musical journey.

This two man band has been and still is the creation of Morbius (guitar, bass) and Vilhelm (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, programming) however make no bones about it: these two dudes are veritable beasts on every instrument involved. Add to that a keen sense of black metal compositional fortitude which allows soft folky passages laced with wintery sound effects to caress your should with just enough melody that once the bombastic black metal furor begins you are hopelessly hooked on like an unsuspecting fish.

GRIMA plays the black metal part all the way as well. The duo dress like Satanically possessed corpses lurking in the snow-covered vastness of the Russian forests. The authenticity and commitment rings true on the musical delivery. This is no slouch in the world of black metal for sure with the melodic touches bands like Sacramentum and Dissection with the atmospheric splendor of others such as Wolves In The Throne Room or Paysage d”Hiver. Add to that a touch of Russian folk musical sounds, a screaming from the din vocal style right out of the Summoning playbook and you have a nice recipe for an excellent atmospheric black metal experience.

There aren’t really any weak moments on FROSTBITTEN as this musical soundtrack for dying of hypothermia and then eaten by wolves is a keeper for sure. The album consists of seven tracks of perfectly paced musical processions that deliver just enough downtime to crave the black metal attacks once more. Perhaps the biggest drawback is that GRIMA doesn’t immediately come off as totally original. For those not well versed in the black metal universe, much of it can sound similar if not downright identical. Like stars in the sky, it takes some adjustment for seeing or in this case hearing in the dark which is provided by the black metal guitar distortion and other thundering effects.

For those well versed in this noisy corner of the metal universe, GRIMA won’t disappoint at all. The second wave black metal graced by the accoutrements of folky acoustic guitars, sensual yet frigid atmospheric backdrops and interesting chord progressions as well as perfectly timed thundering attacks will surely please the hardened black metalheads who have heard it all before. True not the most original of the lot but so well executed that i find this to be an outstanding modern example of well produced black metal that hasn’t jettisoned its lo-fi origins. Guess i gotta check out the earlier albums now!
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39 days ago
Great review as always Mike. Been enjoying this one myself even though atmo black isn't my typical poison. I'm slowly getting more into the genre

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