Review Summary: A masterful concoction by a death metal master
The (in)famous Rogga Johansson (Paganizer, Ribspreader, etc) is back with quite an ambitious project. On The Grotesquery’s first album, Tales Of The Coffin Born
, he teams up with American vocalist Kam Lee (of Massacre fame) to create a fierce death metal album with a concept to match the band name.
The band created a story based on the works of such famous occult authors like H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe. It would be rather hard to follow a concept on a death metal album without having to go through pages and pages of lyrics and the band seems to have realised this and simplified it for the lazier ones out of us. Every song features a short spoken intro that tells the basic story behind the album and then the lyrics to the songs come expand upon it. This way everyone can get a feel for the story behind the album and those that are really interested have the option to look up the lyrics and learn further. Although it makes for a very interesting first few listens, the sound clips do get a little tiresome after the listener has heard the album a few times and knows the story well.
Musically, Rogga throws riff after riff at you. His main influence lies in Swedish death metal’s buzzsaw type riffs but he uses bits and pieces of other forms of death metal including groovy death metal and a few sprinkles of melody here and there. The combination of riff types keeps the album from getting repetitive and assures that every death metal fan will find something to love somewhere within this album. Wether it be in the thrashy death metal stylings of Sepulcher Macabre, the groovier Nightmares Made Flesh or the strong closer that mixes it all into a 7 minute death metal masterpiece. The guitar tone is slightly muddy and helps the music go with the morbid story told between songs.
The story itself is told using heavily distorted speech to make it sound more evil and as if it is coming out of something that could be human but is much darker. Kam Lee then steps in with his fierce, very guttural scream that stays as a growl most of the time but sometimes strays into a well placed scream. It is semi intelligible so most should not hope to follow the lyrics by ear alone.
All in all, The Grotesquery have crafted a great death metal album that truly captures the darker, morbid side of the genre but without sounding over-the-top. Tales Of The Coffin Born
masterly combines all forms of death metal into a cohesive, hard hitting package. Although it is still very early to say, Tales Of The Coffin Born
could already be one of the top death metal albums this year.