A Gruesome Find
Of Blood And Nobility
posted on 2/2008 By:
A Gruesome Find have been hanging around the periphery of the black/death metal crossover scene for around ten years now. During this span of time, they’ve managed three accomplishments. First, they’ve invented and self-applied yet another new ‘genre’ tag—bleath metal. See what they did there? Creative, guys. Second, they’ve produced an impressive collection of rockin’ promotional pictures; check their Metal Archives site for a shining example of these Ohioans in their corpsepainted standing-around-in-a-park-in-the-middle-of-the-fucking-day grandeur. Third, they’ve released three full-length albums, of which Of Blood and Nobility is the most recent. Now, as easy as A Gruesome Find are to make fun of (I mean, what a name), they’re not a truly bad band, nor are they even subpar. It’d almost be better if they were—this kind of anonymous mediocrity is the bane of metal writers and fans alike. Competent without being impressive and listenable without being even slightly compelling, Of Blood and Nobility is about as stock as blackened death metal gets. Need proof that making up your own private genre name doesn’t mean you’re playing your own private genre? Here it is.
The formula here is old and well-traveled: A Gruesome Find endeavor to combine the percussive ferocity of death metal with the grandiose sweep of black metal. “But wait,” you say. “That can’t be all—there must be more to it than that, right?” Wrong. Sadly, this stuff is as straightforward and rudimentary in conception as is possible in this day and age. They execute decently, to be fair, as the musicianship is solid and there aren’t any really flagrant missteps in the songwriting. Once in a while they’ll even hit on an appropriately epic and headbangable main riff, as on “Among the Smouldering Remains” and “Kingdom Crusher.” These moments are very few and far between, though, and most of the album blows by in a hail of predictable blastbeats, power chord progressions, and tremolo picking. A Gruesome Find has managed to snag a pretty solid production job too (aside from the piteously fake-sounding drums), but stand Of Blood and Nobility up next to anything by Zyklon or later Behemoth and it will become abundantly clear just how bland these guys really are.
So Of Blood and Nobility is by no means terrible—there are just way too many more appealing options to choose from. Not only are there plenty of bands who do pretty much this same schtick more effectively (the aforementioned Zyklon, Behemoth, Council of the Fallen, Hecate Enthroned, etc.), there exists also a broad spectrum of bands who combine death and black metal in far more interesting ways (Anaal Nathrakh, Akercocke, The Amenta, Goatwhore, Augury, and on and on). I guess if you come from Toledo, OH or have dedicated your life to purchasing every bleath metal album in existence, then Of Blood and Nobility might be a sound investment, but otherwise it’s not really worth your time.
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