The Cold Haunting Loneliness Of Crushing Certainty
Occult Black Metal 8/10
The Cold Haunting Loneliness Of Crushing Certainty Reviews
Pretty recently I came in touch with Turkish label Merdümgiriz, pretty young but quite productive, especially focusing on projects by label founders Merdümgiriz and Emir Toğrul. It’s quite a unique label, not only for being a Turkey-based one (which cannot be that easy out there), but because of the explicit philosophy (especially of some specific acts that are on their roster) and the ‘strange’ signings. Most bands or projects are rooted within the extremer regions of Metal, but there are electronic and Hip-Hop combos as well!
Anyway, a new signing is the one with Grimmdrasil, an Oklahoma-based one-man army by Sydney Lundy. In between 2005 and 2007, Grimmdrasil released quite some recordings, but as from then it was quiet for quite some time – until now. The project returns with The Cold Haunting Loneliness Of Crushing Certainty, a lengthy seven-tracker (the songs last in between six and ten minutes). And like every Merdümgiriz release, everything that concerns the artwork has been done handmade by label co-owner Emir.
The Cold Haunting Loneliness Of Crushing Certainty opens with Introspect And Distain, which starts as some mixture of tranquil Jazz, Post-Rock and Avant-garde, with funky and progressive bass lines and drum patterns, and ambient synths, calm guitar melodies and clean semi-spoken words. Quite soon the whole turns heavier, with the addition of melodious electric guitar melodies and deep-blackened screams. But it gets weirder and weirder, for after two and a half minutes the extremity turns into noisy proportions, then again towards frenzy Black-Industro-Prog Metal, followed by excerpts of apocalyptic Doom (at four minutes), and this way the experience continues. Further on there are elements from Funeral Doom, Psychedelic Rock (often with elements from the Sixties / Seventies), Dark Rock / Death Rock, groovy Post-Punk and Sludgecore, as well as Industrial (quite a general description, I admit, but I am not about to sum up each industrialised direction that might appear throughout the album), Tribal, occult rituals, Noise, Dub, Techno, Space-Acid (?), co(s)mic Electronics, Folklore and Dark Ambient, all gathered under a mostly noisy and loud banner. This goes for all pieces included in this release. Each time I listen to The Cold Haunting Loneliness Of Crushing Certainty, new elements appear, and each time it leaves me confused. There is so much to experience, so much to endure, and there is not one single minute that gives the listener the opportunity to relax, to sit back, to comprehend the whole concept.
The variety does not only go for the endless injections of muSICKal types, trends and genres alone; the vocals, for example, are quite diverse too: singing, chanting, narrating, sighing, mourning, grunting, screaming, growling, vomiting and gurgling. So is the tempo, so are the structures, so are the emotions and atmospheres that pass by… And that brings me to a conclusion that needs to be taken seriously, and with full attention: the sublimity of this effort might be an aural orgasm, yet it might be a confusing, head-aching and intolerable exercise too… Listen to it at least 66 times before you decide to buy (or steal) the stuff. It will cause pain and discomfort, so let your masochistic inner-self convince you, or warn you…
18 April 2016
After a decade of being locked in a vault, Grimmdrasil comes forth with Hybernium.Hybernium boasts seven songs of experimental dark metal that makes you believe you’ve taken a psychoactive drug and locked yourself away inside of your own mind. The compositions are as mystifying as they are melodic, and completely dark and twisted. Hybernium has an odd kind of appeal to it, an appeal that makes you listen because it is so out of the ordinary and out of the box. There really isn’t anything that you can compare Grimmdrasil to. The music itself is original, full of soul and full of purpose.
For the most part the album is grim and bleak, giving you no hope that you will make it out of the darkness unscathed. Grimmdrasil makes you feel very isolated and alone in the world. Hybernium is that black cloud that hangs over you every day that rains black acidic drops down on your face.
Hybernium is accosting in its own way, yet it also as a sort of jaded beauty about it. The abrasiveness comes from the dissonant riffs, the throat ripping vocals, as well as the dark industrial sound that Grimmdrasil gives off. However, the jaded beauty comes from the great use of the synths, as well as succumbing and hypnotic cleans like on the song Grim.
Grim uses both the ripping experimental metal riffs as well as the flesh eating vocals, but during the middle of the song the music completely changes into something that you have not yet heard on Hybernium. During the midsection of Grim, you get a sound that is very melodious complementary of the synths as well as the enchanting cleans of the vocalist. The melody doesn’t last too long however, as the song shifts back the more demonic vocal style as well as the fuzzed out riffs for the remainder of the song.
In bits and pieces throughout you end up hearing more groovy and melodic moments instead of chaotic and ear removing dirges of filth, grime and darkness. Hybernium is an album that takes a bit of getting use to. You need to take a few listens to really let it sink in. Nothing really is straight forward, as you can go from dizzying sounds of pure chaos to melodious almost melancholic moments in the blink of an eye.
Grimmdrasil does a great job of balancing the insane with the slightly less insane.Hybernium is a lot to take in as there are so many different factors that play in making music that sounds like this. Mixing the music up and not just playing one bleak and dreary harsh metallic song after another gives the listener variety and keeps the listener interested throughout.
Hybernium sounds like an album that was written from the perspective of a fevered and disturbed mind, and that is why it makes it so interesting to listen to. With Grimmdrasilyou get indescribably distorted slashing riffs, sound drumming, as well as dark yet smooth synths. To bolster the evil that lurks within, the vocalist pours out shrieking devilish vocals only to switch to mesmerizing cleans when needed.
This seven track psychotic break is many things. It is interesting, isolating, groovy, as well as dark among many other things. It is an album like many other Merdumgirizreleases that go against the grain, and going against the grain is exactly what the label does well. If you are in dire need of something that is out of the box and just an overall good listen, then Grimmdrasil is your band.
Grimmdrasil are a solo project from Oklahoma that plays a psychedelic form of black metal and this is a review of his unreleased 2004 album "Hybernium" which was released on cassette in 2015 by Merdumgiriz.
8 out of 10.