Label: Eisenwald Tonschmiede
Release date: 23.01.2015
8.5/10 – Review by Jabawock
Grimoire is a Black Metal solo project from Québec, having previously released a single full-length album in 2011. Although not the most long-running band from the notorious Québec Black Metal scene, its sole member, Fiel, is known as the drummer of Forteresse and Csejthe, two long-lasting entities from that scene. This new EP from Grimoire will be released in January 2015 via Eisenwald Tonschmiede; definitely a good sign, seeing their consistency in releasing awesome material over the past years.
The music on this EP is clearly in the vein of faster-paced Atmospheric Black Metal such as Wolves in the Throne Room and whatnot. I really like this style, and Grimoire pretty much nails it. The guitars draw out long and eerie riffs on top of mostly fast drum parts. The vocals stay mostly in the standard black metal department but still showing enough variation, with the occasional use of growls and spoken words. In addition, some parts are accompanied by minimalistic piano tunes, which work very well in this case, emphasizing the icy atmosphere of the music. Synth layers are also present from time to time, either as intermezzos or as discrete overlays during riffs. The more I listen to this EP, the more I notice these little subtleties in the synths, and the more I come to enjoy them as a major highlight of this work.
The EP contains 3 songs and an outro, for a total of just under 25 minutes. Seems short, but I wasn’t bothered by the length here, as the material is quite coherent as it is, and adding more songs would have weakened the overall release in my opinion. Of the 3 songs, only the second one was a bit less interesting and intense. The outro is actually really beautiful in its own right, with a combination of piano and choirs, with a few more layers of synth. I generally don’t bother with outro pieces, but I found this one very memorable for once.
Overall, this is a very nice piece of work. Next to a well-executed blend of Atmospheric Black Metal, the strength of the music lies in the soft piano melodies and discrete synth layers, rather than in pure guitar riffage. Its cold, wintery atmosphere feels somewhat refreshing, and is very welcome in this season. The keyboard/synth parts are masterfully composed and executed, making the EP all the more enjoyable. Another high quality release from Québec!