Let’s face it, Black Metal can often be extremely boring to review. An endless stream of bands trying to blast their peers into next week while playing to an audience of one and fundamentally recycling over and over the pioneering work of those Northern gods who first gave life to this filth-encrusted genre over 25 years ago. Please do forgive our apathy but some variation is required in this day and age if the tired old Black Metal tropes are going to be repeatedly trotted out. So, on to Groteskh, a Black Metal band from Austria, who can surely be relied upon to deliver yet another lo-fi, hell-hammering…..yawn.
Well, corpse-paint our nut-sacks and banish us to some frozen tundra for being a bunch of cynical old bastards! Groteskh have not only delivered an ice-cold blast of Progressively minded Black Metal – with enough variation to not only maintain interest but also have you coming back for more and more – they’ve also gone and recorded one of the finest Black Metal albums of 2015!!!!
Highlights are many and with the atonal acrimony of “Delusions Of Immortality”, which builds and builds to a coruscating crescendo of atmosphere and agony, Groteskh are blatantly as committed to creativity as they are blasting ears into submission and it’s that knife-edge balance that makes Code: End such a thrilling – and surprising – proposition.
“Doomdevil”‘s slow-burn descent into the netherworld utilises its relatively languid pace to unnerve – Black Metal encroaching on Doom Metal territory at times (perhaps the clue was in the title of the track!) – while “Oblivion Of Being” brings to mind Dimmu Borgir stripped down to their purest essence.
Unafraid to experiment, the result is a Black Metal album that should reach out of the Black Metal underground and appeal to Metal lovers who usually turn their noses up at this sort of stuff for the very reasons we listed at the beginning of this review. Eye-opening stuff! 8/10