Monday, 21 October 2019

The Grand Mal - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: October 18th 2019. Label: APF Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Grand Mal – S/T – Tracklisting

1.Explode 03:24
2.No Man's Land 04:06
3.Burning Truth 05:46
4.Synapse Transmission 04:33
5.Liquid & Dust 04:19
6.Glitch 02:09
7.Pig In The Python 06:00
8.Eschaton 05:11
9.Black Spiral 07:00
10.Significant 08:12


Dave-O: vocals
Ryan Cole - guitar
Elliot Cole - drums
Rob Glen - bass


The Grand Mal is the joining together of two of the most powerful and creative forces from Oxford with members of My Diablo and Desert Storm forming the hard-hitting entity as the The Grand Mal.

Their debut album is quite different to the members other bands with The Grand Mal focusing more on Grunge, Psych, Desert Rock and Stoner Metal. Not that Desert Storm or My Diablo didn’t play that style of music within their own individual releases. This album feels influenced by Stoner Metal godfathers – KYUSS and KARMA TO BURN. As the heavy riffs echo the legendary sound of the Californian Desert but with a more focused sound that has elements of Led Zep, Black Sabbath and Alice In Chains.

The album contains epic riffs from the start and centres around an epic vocal performance from Dave-O who has never sounded better on this album. Dave-O perfectly captures the Stoner Rock/Metal intensity the album requires with hints of Grunge appearing here and there.

Dave-O is a drummer by trade which he’s performed with his other bands such as Mother Corona and My Diablo. However, the drumming is handled by Desert Storm’s Elliot Cole and he makes his presence felt on the majority of the tracks. I’m a huge admirer of Desert Storm and it’s good to see Elliot’s brother Ryan handles guitar duties and you can feel and hear his trademark riffs.

Bass duties is handled by Rob Glen and he brings an addictive rhythm to The Grand Mal and allows everyone to do their own thing on this album.

The songs are excellent throughout with the band treating the listener to 10 songs and almost 53 minutes of fast-paced Stoner Metal/Desert Rock sounds. The standout songs have to be: Explode, No Man’s Land, Synapse Transmission, Pig In The Python, Black Spiral and Significant. As these are the songs where The Grand Mal are bang on point with almost everything. Fantastic sounding riffs, superb vocals and lyrics all combine for a powerhouse album that will have you headbanging in agreement.

The production is top-notch with the album being very clear and fresh from the start. The Grand Mal have a heavy thunderous presence and that’s down to the fantastic production. If you miss the days of 90s sounding Grunge. Desert Rock and Stoner Metal then look no further as The Grand Mal have you covered on all fronts.

This is an excellent debut album that the band should rightly be proud of.

Listen to this album now. You won’t be sorry….

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. The Grand Mal debut album is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via APF Records.