A short acoustic – almost harp-like – intro, a buzz of electric guitar – repeating 3 chords – an abrupt end, ‘Beyond the Massif’ feeds into a pattern of neat music blasts and silences as ‘Devourer of Time’ beats like a breakneck clock. A fast song with drums that batter your brain. The underlying guitar is low, loud, and decently satisfying. The vocals steady and strong throughout.
The brilliant ‘My Path,’ is a track that dislikes society, rejects it, and follows its own gut feelings. The deep, dark and temptingly narrated intro-vocals add an extra air of chaos to the growly story of this beast. Ear buzzing guitars are the skeleton of the song and the stunningly well-blended vocals – featuring guest Dirk “Dicker” Weiß (Warpath) – are the muscles that propel it. Who doesn’t want to just ‘be real’ at the end of the day? If you’d rather just slay the beast then the deathly ‘Black Empress’ might be more your vibe. Spookier and with vocals like a cloud of descending doom, relentless fast guitar work, and an unforgiving rhythm, this “Queen of disaster” will gladly ride with you but beware of the price!
With a groove that sort of rolls up your spine, ‘The Collector’ offers a different feeling to the album. Clear, tuneful vocals, sang in an almost gothic-style for verses with a chorus that still possesses the chunky riff and guitar solos of the other songs. The bass sounds electronic and the group-emphasized, short, sharp, words, interject like bullets.
It would be wrong not to mention ‘Never Gone’ as this is the bands’ tribute to many great musicians who have been lost but the sudden group of news-announcements make for a tough emotional listen, just be prepared.
‘Ashes of My Revenge’ is a song of anger and retribution. Full of demons, towering rage and kingdoms that need burning down (as well as singing about.) Gang vocals lend extra manpower and a tempo change for the “burn” chant half way through, adds interest.
The vocals of ‘Bam i dunya’ are gruff yet melodic, the words possibly a tribute to Mother Earth herself? With a march-like guitar and drum rhythm, the song prepares to hike a journey over seven minutes long but nearing the five-minute-mark it reverts to the calmer acoustic sound that the album began with and gently trots you back out of the realm.
This album packs its punch with an effective formula of substantial riffs, tight, united playing and a selection of experimental (and successful) vocal techniques to add some zing.
Review: Suzi Bootz
Beyond the Massif
Devourer of Time
Ashes of My Revenge
Bam i dunya
GRAND MASSIVE lineup
Alex Andronikos – vocals
Peter Wiesenbacher – guitar
Jochen Böllath – guitar
Toby Brandl – bass
Raphael Speyerl – drums