Saturday, 16 June 2018

GRIN - Revenant (Album Review)


Release date: April 27th 2018. Label: The Lasting Dose Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Revenant – Tracklisting

1.ALTERNA 02:18
2.SECLUSION 06:10
3.SENTINEL 05:16
4.ORDINAND feat. K. McDonald (ZAUM) 06:53
5.REVENANT 03:36
6.CLOSURE 06:54

Members

Sabine Oberg - Bass
Jan Oberg - Drums/Vocals

Review

GRIN is the new band featuring two members (Jan and Sabine) of Earthship. GRIN follow a similar path to Earthship but with a more doomier and psychedelic driven sound. Their debut album Revenant is a highly accomplished work with the band focusing the same amount of time and effort on melody and aggression.

Opening track - Alterna - is a two minute plus blast of Sludge/Punk/Stoner heavy sounds. The vocals from Jan have an easy going and sinister quality to them. Jan performs a few drone based chants on this song and the heavy sludgy riffs is held together by a superbly heavy distorted guitar sound.

Second track - Seclusion - is where GRIN really expresses themselves more as the song runs for around six minutes. This allows GRIN to slowly build up their distorted Sludge/Punk/Stoner Metal sound. The sound can be quite vicious at times but it's never off-putting. As the frantic drums of Jan is what really makes this song ticks.

GRIN reminds me of Zoroaster in a lot of ways. Especially with the vocals and how GRIN expertly weave their different musical elements into a trippy and almost surreal nightmarish experience. The pounding psychedelic rhythms leave you wanting more and the sparse vocals/chants from Jan prove that GRIN are no mere pushovers despite this being their debut album.

Third track - Sentinel - carries on the distorted heavy psychedelic sound though with an eerie familiar Stoner Metal influence holding everything together. As before the song starts really slowly before GRIN finally kick into action by playing a truly addictive sludge/punk sound. The thing that surprised me the most with Revenant is the amount of different sounds and textures that GRIN include on this album. You think the album is going to stick to one set sound. However GRIN change things by adding a Psychedelic/Drone/Ambient groove to their music.

The bass guitar can be too loud at times on certain parts of the album. Though that's maybe the point of GRIN's music. To make you feel uncomfortable and drown you with powerful sounds. The other songs on the album are inspired by SLEEP and OM at times especially my favourite song on the album - Ordinand.

The final two songs - Revenant and Closure - offer some of the heaviest and distorted sounds that the album has to offer. Revenant is another one of my favourite songs on the album. As GRIN create a nightmarish psychedelic and almost post-rock/post-metal vibe that is quite different to the other songs on the album. I'm kicking myself for not listening and reviewing this album sooner. As this album is an absolute violent delight.

Revenant has an almighty monolithic presence. The only other downside is the album is on too short. I would have loved to hear another song. Though it's best leaving the audience wanting more and not outstaying your welcome. GRIN have delivered the goods with Revenant. 

Revenant is an unflinching and unapologetic album that you won't easily forget.

Words by Steve Howe

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