Who the hey is Hannes Grossmann, some of you may be thinking? Allow us to enlighten you. Hannes has his fingers in all the damn pies, with his drumming talents employed by the likes of technical death metal deities Alkaloid, Obscura and Necrophagist (Epitaph-era) while also lending his silky skills to such luminaires as Hate Eternal, Triptykon, Blotted Science, Eternity’s End and Gomorrah. Quite the résumé! Now he again ventures out into the wilderness alone…and he’s fully prepped for whatever the elements dare to throw at him.
We say go it ‘alone’ but Hannes Grossmann is his own band and To Where The Light Retreats is actually their 4th album and the follow up to 2019’s damn decent, Apophenia. Why we hadn’t caught up with Hannes ‘solo’ travels prior to now is beyond explanation as this alchemic blend of progressive / technical / melodic death metal is an absolute joy to behold! It helps that he’s surrounded with supreme talent of course, with Alkaloid bandmates Linus Klausenitzer (bass) and Danny Tunker (guitars) and current Triptykon vocalist, V. Santura, adding strength and flair throughout.
The quality of the aforementioned names are an indication of the high expectations we had upon hitting play – and To Where The Light Retreats certainly does not disappoint – and while this could easily be labelled as the next Alkaloid album, there’s enough individual spirit here to distance itself enough from Grossmann’s day job. As for the tunes, “The Sun Eaters” is the best melodic death metal song we’ve heard in an age, “The Fountain” will haunt your dreams and the groove and chug of “The Symbolic Nature of Terms” will have you busting moves you didn’t know needed busting.
Alkaloid lovers will be ecstatic. Tech death fans will be elated. Prog metal fans will be delighted. Win. Win. One thing is for sure, To Where The Light Retreats is as good a tech death metal album as you’re likely to hear in 2021. 8/10
Hannes Grossmann‘s To Where The Light Retreats was released on June 1st, 2021. Bandcamp is where its at!