Grima awakes again.
Since 2014 in Siberia, Vilhelm (vocals/guitar, Second to Sun, Ultar, ex-Deafknife) and Morbius (guitar, Second to Sun, Ultar, ex-Deafknife) have been developing an Atmospheric Black Metal, which shines on Naturmacht Productions in 2022 with Frostbitten, their fifth album.
The band is accompanied by Serpentum (bass), Vlad Yungman (drums, Solarfall, Ultar), Valentina Astashova (keyboards, Eoront, WirgHata) and Sergey Pastukh (bayan).
The dissonance of Gloomy Heart of the Coldest Land invades us from the first seconds of the song, accompanied by this cold wind, then by those as majestic as impressive riffs. Heady melodies are joined by the vocalist’s piercing screams, and he does not hesitate to offer terrifying or massive tones to feed the rage. The rhythmic will also know how to calm down, offering melancholic breaks as well as a sweet final which drives us to Giant’s Eternal Sleep, the track chosen to announce the album, which quickly makes us fall back into this atmospheric and melodic slumber. Powerful and frantic riffs also resurface, accompanied by Folk sounds and wild screams which create an impressive and fascinating contrast before the raw tones of Into the Twilight and its hypnotic harmonics. We notice that aggressiveness is obviously part of this devastating surge with impressive orchestrations, which will end to let Hunger God crush us with this massive and icy introduction. The rhythmic is revealed by waves, before carrying us away in its tornado of disturbing sounds coupled with a solid blast, letting keyboards and screams bring that touch of darkness. Even when the tempo slows down, the sound remains heavy and dark, giving another face to the aggression, just like on Moonspell and Grief, a very airy composition which lets haunting tones embrace us while cutting harmonics lacerate us. We feel nailed to the ground by this rather different but still effective atmosphere, before Winter Morning Tower revives the catchy but melancholic Folk influences by coupling them with impressive riffs. The more melodic parts allow us to breathe before being caught again by the icy and massive storm, which will calm down again before the final, which finally leaves us with Mana, a short but heady outro which highlights the soft and clear sounds of the band’s Folk roots.
If you’re familiar with Grima, you know how well the band brings their music to life with intense and atmospheric sounds. If Frostbitten is your first contact with the band, expect to feel all the world’s darkness and melancholy with seizing and majestic riffs. This album is a real gem.