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The Polish act GRIMLORD was formed back in 1999, and after a steady release of demos and a full length CD-R effort, "Dolce Vita Sath-an as" is their first official full length album. Initially self-released in 2008, the album was reissued when the band signed to the Trident Harmony label. One can be forgiven for expecting this disc to contain a variety of black metal, as both band name and album name might indicate so. But this is a band exploring a rather different musical landscape, with references to heavy metal and power metal of the kind popular in the second half of the ‘80s. The three opening tracks do contain a vocal style close to growling, but is actually more in the vein of the raspy vocals used by many power metal outfits of the ‘80s. The German band Destruction comes to mind in that respect, but with a more melodic delivery. Both on these efforts as well as the 6 instrumentals that follow, Grimlord attempts add progressive metal arrangements to their material, and also has a go at crafting compositions adhering to progressive principles: changes in pace, expression and arrangements occur frequently. And while not quite successful, with too much repetition and a tad lacking in instrumental finesse at times, a few good ideas are explored. With tracks more often than not sporting rich and intriguing atmospheres as well as good momentum and energy, the end result is a pleasant affair, albeit more likely to interest the dedicated metal fan than your average prog-metal aficionado. Promising material, nonetheless, and recommended to those who might fancy a slice of power metal with progressive and heavy metal inclinations.
Olav M Bjornsen: Agst 23, 2010
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