The Devil Went Down To Russia...

Nov. 12, 2015


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Grey Heaven Fall is a black and death metal band from Russia. Prior to the day I wrote this, I had never heard of them before, but they made a strong impression right away. With this album, Black Wisdom, this group has continued to solidify how modern black/death can and should be done when you're not looking to add too many frills.

I absolutely love how the shrill hook and d-beat on "The Lord is Blissful in Grief" join around 2 minute mark. It's one of those perfect pace shifts you hear Fenriz talking about that is just designed to get your foot tapping. And then the union of the BM-as-f@#k picking with the punctuated chords around 3:30...forget about it. Yes, a lot of this is fairly in line with other releases this year from Outre, A Blaze of Perdition, and Mephorash; but they are another example that rises above the rest. The perfect foam on my glass of Guiness, if you will.

There are so many cool, little riffs embedded in the dense sound, and they all sound so damn malevolent. Apparently after the devil turned his golden fiddle over to johnny, he moved out of Georgia and decided to take up electric guitar in a colder climate. He even picked up a few demons from Midian along the way to fire out the blazing blastbeats, rumbling bass, and scornful low register growls.

Content also ventures into doom metal at times, with the initially ultraviolent "Spirit of Opression" taking on a much more power chord, funeral-driven vibe in the middle of this lengthy opus. One catches a glimpse of the sorrow behind the rage. In my work, we teach that anger is like an iceberg: you need to look below the surface to see the whole picture. These mournful melodies elude to the same concept, as does the ambient explorations of fear and ambiguity on "Sanctuary of Cut Tongues." Evil is rarely born without precedent.

In the end, I don't know if any of this is the intended message, but to me music should be like an inkblot: you put your own meaning to it. As such, this is my own interpretation of the album. I simply hope it gives you a general idea of what to expect while still allowing you to put your own ideas into it. Regardless, the album is streaming below and can be purchased for $9. Thanks again to the great Transcending Obscurity team for helping another excellent album, well, transcend obscurity by reaching my mailbox for review.