Asgrauw – Gronspech
Despite the hot temperature outside, it’s cold and freezing inside my living room. Why? Because the third full length “Gronspech” of Asgrauw is on my media player right now.
Raw, melodic and atmospheric black metal is being offered on this album (release July 17th). Sang in Dutch and Groesbeek (a small town in Gelderland) dialect this albums contains Asgrauw’s interpretation of regional myths. You can hear that these three blacksters are a fan of the good old nineties. The typical nineties raw, atmospheric, cold, yet melodic vibe being offered here reminds me of Darkthrone and Emperor’s In The Nightside Eclipse album. Once again one of their best trades is the fact that guitarists Vaal’s cold shrieks and bass player Kaos his punkish angry barks interplay very well. Add some excellent music writing, elegantly dosed eerie keyboards and samples, spoken word pieces and you have the ingredients for a high quality dark concoction. The album is mixed and engineered by the band itself and has a very good, raw and clear sound.
Opener Pletsmajoor sets the standard: wide aggressive guitar parts with great attention in building up tension. Follow up Wolvenbloed and Duitenpact are black metal songs with a dose of punk influence, which deliver a precise punch in your face. The intro of Sgoer bursts in well dosed aggression while the slightly slower paced melancholic atmosphere in Kiste Trui sees to it that there is enough variety in speed on this album.
Although all the songs are great there is one big remark: the spoken word is too low in the mix, making it very difficult to listen to. A trademark I have heard before from Asgrauw, so I reckon it is a matter of taste. But don’t be worried: Gronspech still is an example of good quality Dutch extreme metal.
I have been keen on Asgrauw since their debut Schijngestalten (fan editorial: and Krater!). And well… they haven’t let me down since! Gronspech is a solid album which does not deviate from their musical style as we know it. It shows that these guys have matured and can write and play a damn good metal song (also live)! Special credits for the splendid artwork.
Label: Hidden Marly Productions
Grade: 7,4 / 10
release: July 17th
Review by Erik
5. Kiste Trui
8. Zwotte Ruine