GROMTH – The Immortal
Let me first tell you that even though I’ve written lyrics for this album, I have had nothing to do with the music. I am not a part of the band per se.
I’ve always been a sucker for symphonic extremities, such as Tartaros ("The Red Jewel" is still one of my favourites), Limbonic Art, Obsidian Gate and more recently the latest offerings from Septicflesh and Fleshgod Apocalypse. But with the exception of the first mentioned, the rest of the bands release albums with songs. "The Red Jewel" is also one intro and seven songs, but still one linear story if I understood Charmand Grimloch back in the day. And now, the Norwegian band Gromth release one long song divided into 16 different tracks. As if that’s not enough, the full release also includes a 54 minutes orchestral version.
The album is near perfect. You simply get everything you desire from orchestral extreme metal. There are small hints of this and that, but overall the music takes you through a journey. It is not a pleasant journey conceptually speaking, and it’s definitely one that demands a lot, as in A LOT, from the listener musically speaking. On the surface there’s something going on all the time. Different soundscapes, narration, different riffs, acoustic guitars, screaming vocals, heavy guitars, growling, orchestra, angelic vocals – and variation. All this wrapped in a thick sound that justify all the choices Gromth have made in the process. But fear not, you can hear everything despite that there’s a lot going on all the time.
Below there surface there are different things going on. Small effects, different vocal layers, multiple orchestral parts at the same time. Spice it up, baby! Gromth do not allow you to rest during the 66+ minutes, aside from the track "The Immortal. You have big and epic parts, acoustic sections, heavy fractions and then you have "The Immortal", an 11+ minutes journey through very dark landscapes. I’d suggest you delve into the album and especially this track by using quality headphones. And mind you, you need a lot of listenings to grasp what’s going on all the time.
"The Immortal", speaking of the album now, is a dynamic voyage through the world of orchestrations, guitars, vocals and uniqueness. Even though I hear some elements of other bands here and there, I cannot say that there’s a single band that reminds me of Gromth. And I’ve heard a lot of music in my now 40 years of destroying my hearing-agenda. You don’t really know what’s coming the next minute. Yet, and this is perhaps the most impressive aspect with the album, there’s a flow throughout the whole release. The arrangements are great, as there’s no change in the music that feels out of place. Amazing.
If one shall be a bit critical, it has to be the length. I think that the album could’ve been just a few minutes shorter. At the same time I cannot really see what could be shortened up, as every track has its highlight(s). The second element is, and I can’t really believe that I’m thinking like this, that the main vocals could’ve be even more varied.
It’s time to destroy…