Release DetailsLABEL Metalism Records
RELEASED ON 7/2/2005
Border of Misty Times (Remastered)
posted on 2/2007 By:
Originally formed as a death/thrash metal band in 1992, Russia’s Grenouer now play a more experimental and industrial style of metal that has brought comparisons to Meshuggah and Fear Factory, among others, as heard on the band’s 2005 EP release, T R Y. What we have here, however, is a re-mastering job of their debut album Border of Misty Times, which was originally recorded and released in 1996. Having never heard the original, let alone never having heard of this band, I’ll assume this doctored up version sounds worlds better 10 years after the fact. The revised mix here is of decent quality, with each instrument coming through with understandable clarity, and none of the individual musical elements tend to overshadow one another. There’s not a doubt in my mind that had this music been given proper distribution when it first came to life it would have made some waves here in the U.S., but hearing it now in 2007 it comes across as a rehash of what metalheads have been hearing in many parts of the world for years now.
With a plethora of palm-muted chunk and speedy single note shredding, coupled with Slayer-esque harmonies and sporadic lead work as taught at the Hanneman/King school of dissonance, there’s a strong sense of having heard it all before, and you have. The vocals come to you in two styles: the first being a low end roar that truly complements the overall sound well, while the other is impressively similar to In the Nightside Eclipse-era Ihsahn of Emperor fame. It’s a nice contrast, but the former is certainly the stronger suit as far as the vocals are concerned, because this is more death metal than black metal. The drumming is competent enough, with the necessary blending of basic thrash beats, blistering blasts, bombastic fills and pummeling double bass work. As a group the band is very tight and this really is some impressive stuff for having been done in ’96. But when all is said and done it’s just a shame that this material wasn’t heard on a wider level when it first came out, because these days I just don’t think it will have much of an impact when put up against today’s young gunners, not to mention other death and thrash metal mainstays that were fortunate enough to live in countries where freedom of expression was, and is, well received. Death metal enthusiasts might want to venture out and at least have a listen to this, if you can find some tracks, just to compare this album to others of its time. In closing, the band has recently signed a contract with Strictly Heavy Management based out of the eastern shore of Maryland here in the States, so hopefully more folks will get the chance to hear this band and what they bring to the table in the future.
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