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 Grenouer - Blood On The Face (2013) Album Review

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Reign In Metal
Reign In Metal

Zodiac : Aries Metal Reputation : 88
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Vacationing in Hell

PostGrenouer - Blood On The Face (2013) Album Review

Grenouer - Blood On The Face (2013)
Mausoleum Records/Rock 'N' Growl Promotion -- Running Time 38:01

It's not easy for Russian bands to get noticed, sometimes to even get gigs (one of my recent favourites Hammerforce being a perfect example) so it's pleasing to see that Saint Petersburg based Grenouer have been picked up by Mausoleum Records which should get them some much needed exposure in other countries. However, it has taken them twenty years to get to this point and 'Blood On The Face' is their seventh album!

I'm not familiar with Grenouer's previous output but they started as a Thrash/Death Metal band in 1992, their first full length album arrived in '96, and are considered one of the pioneers of Russian underground extreme music. Over the years though, they have drastically altered their sound and listening to 'Blood On The Face' there are no thrash or death influences to be found anywhere! What you will hear is a very Modern Metal/Rock sounding album with plenty of melody that incorporates some Industrial, Goth & Pop influences and on the song 'Midday Show' even some Rap, but before you all run away screaming it's the sort of rap Clawfinger would come up with and underneath the elements there is nearly always a chunky guitar riff. To their credit they aren't an easy band to categorise but apart from Clawfinger I can hear bits of Rammstein, Paradise Lost and Muse.

After short intro 'Thunder Phase' the first two tracks proper 'Blood On The Face' and 'Sands Of Silence are actually very good, with great choruses, and if we lived in a fair world, are the sort of catchy affairs that would receive a fair amount of mainstream radio airplay. Vocalist 'Andrey Ind' has a good melodic voice and considering he has been with the band from the start it would be interesting to hear how his voice has developed over the years! From track three onwards the songs don't quite reach the quality of the first two but there are still solid riffs and choruses to be found. If you take away the pop sheen from 'See No Sun' it is a song that Ozzy Osbourne could have released (circa 'No More Tears'). There aren't many solos to be found which is an area the band could develop but the remaining members, guitarists 'Alexander Motor' and 'Igor Buzzy', bassist 'Dmitry Daemon' and drummer 'Michael Coroner' (perhaps the nicknames make more sense in Russian!!), all play their instruments with a good amount of skill and overall it's a pretty enjoyable listen.

'Blood On The Face' has been nicely produced by the team of 'Dualized' & 'Eddy Cavazza' (Mnemic), 'Anssi Kippo' (Children Of Bodom) and 'Joonas Koto'. It has also been beautifully mastered by 'Mika Jussila' at the famous Finnvox Studios'. I also love the horror themed cover art, although it gives the impression that the contents are heavier than they actually are!

Whether Grenouer are a genuinely progressive band that like to experiment with their music or, due to their geographical location, have gradually succumbed to a more commercial sound to receive wider recognition I don't know! Either way 'Blood On The Face' is an interesting and mature release that is actually quite refreshing, but this album certainly won't be to everyone's tastes.

I would also like to point out that the above running time is slightly shorter than it should be as my review copy did not include their cover of the  Stone Temple Pilots song 'All In The Suit That You Wear'.

Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

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