GRORR – The Unknown Citizens
The second album from French progressive metal band Grorr "The Unknown Citizens" is lyrically based on a W.H. Auden poem, and conveyed musically in three, three-part song constructs. Divided amidst "The Fighter", "The Worker", and "The Dreamer", the quintet are not of the ordinary metal cloth – incorporating a mixture of death, djent, alternative, and organic elements to make their sound very intriguing, electric, hypnotic, and an out of the box experience.
The drumming is very Tool based, while a lot of the guitar riffing has elements of Opeth, Meshuggah, and Gojira at the helm – the left-field element of Devin Townsend comes into play I think between the vocals and again the pushing boundaries in a mechanized, united as one force. Occasionally keyboards factor into the proceedings (check out "The Fighter- Facing Myself"), while guitarist Bertrand uses measured melodies in a clean, semi-growl to screaming template. The follow up "The Fighter – Oblivion" can be a 6:25 color contrast experience, a lot of clean strumming careening into djent, off-time percussion/electric madness.
Dealing with common people forgotten by history, it’s interesting to hear the lyrics wrapped around this progressive tidal wave musically… as I can hear trailing words such as ‘get out’ and the funky bass parts snaking around ‘I want to make my own choice’ for "The Dreamer- Unique" sinking deeply into the cranium. Ethnic instruments such as hurdy gurdy and sitar also factor in and conjure up King Crimson comparisons – but never detract from the overall progressive metal attitude and vision Grorr set forth.
These 9 tracks are meant to be taken in front to back – and it’s a very exciting effort as the quintet know how to balance the calm passages with the full-on intensity that djent-oriented progressive music presents. Grorr will probably be one of those cult bands that musicians get but move over a lot of typical metal audiences – and that’s a shame because "The Unknown Citizens" is a one of a kind record.