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Grimbane: Let the Empires Fall

One listen to Grimbane's Let the Empires Fall and you'd swear that this was some long lost Immortal demo from the early 1990's...well, at least that is what they would like you to believe. You see, these black metallers have tried real hard here to conjure up that cold, batallion-smashing sound of the early 90's scene, when bands like Immortal, Mayhem, Marduk, Dark Funeral, and Gorgoroth were still learning how to play their instruments but certainly knew how to pound out relentless and Satanic black metal that sent a chill up and down your spine. Let the Empires Fall hardly succeeds at that, but give the band some credit, they have managed to strike a similar sounding theme here. Raw, flat production values, raging tremelo picked guitar slashes, pounding blast beats, and garbled vocals that sound straight out of the bowels of hell, make up the sonic attack on this one. The problem is, not much of it is overly memorable, or original for that matter. There are a few strong moments, like the hellish "Instinct For Iniquity", the crazed intensity of "Obscurity Reigns", and the pulverizing "God Cremated", the latter really channeling that early Immortal style to near perfection. My main peeve here is that there are way too many intros, spoke word passages, and atmospheric parts, and with a running time of 41 minutes, they could have easily trimmed most of that filler and had a real cohesive 30-35 minute EP here. In fact, it's not till the back end of the CD that you get a few powerhouse numbers back to back to back, as the band crushes with mighty black metal precision without the fluff. Puzzling also is the galloping Viking Metal war cry "Before The First Day", a real fun tune but one that sounds almost out of place here, as the band is almost giving tribute to Amon Amarth.

End result is an album that definitely has its moments, but shows a band that is still in the growing process. Prediction-next release should be something really special.

Track Listing
01. Crush The Set Of Beliefs
02. Tyrannize Intro
03. Tyrannize Christians
04. Obscurity Reigns
05. Unscrupulous Religion Intro
06. Unscrupulous Religion
07. Instinct For Iniquity Intro
08. Instinct For Iniquity
09. Cauldron Of Burning Iron
10. God Cremated
11. Let The Empires Fall Intro
12. Let The Empires Fall
13. Overlord Of Chaos And Evil
14. Theomicrians Descend On Angels
15. Before The First Day

Added: March 30th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Moribund Records
Hits: 2416
Language: english

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