Gloom hails from Madrid (Spain) and was originally meant to be a death metal band. However, for some reason other influences were thrown into the already punishing music, adding the 'blackened' tag to the whole. If that isn't enough, this quintet has been listening to grindcore a lot and are not afraid to come up with some bestial squeals along the way as well. In fact, that's how the album kicks of in the nerve wrenching opener 'Doggod': furious screams, raging guitars and ferocious blast beats. The riffs reek of black metal, the drums say death metal and the vocals come from deep within the grind-guts. And that is just one song.
'Craneal Box Mi-Go' begins as a melodic black metal piece, but is interrupted by grindcore. This is a strange notion and give the whole an extra sense of originality. Here too the three most extreme subgenres are clearly present. Cannibal Corpse riffs with Anaal Nathrakh experimentation and a mix of Morbid Angel and Nargaroth on drums makes up for a stunning piece of eardrum torture. And are those violins in 'Erik Zann'? I know it's just an intro but those strings are a perfect example of the surprises Gloom offers us. The rest of the songs is absolute blackened grind insanity but I guess you already figured that out.
I've always loved it when artists blatantly cross borders between genres. In this case it's no different, and Gloom even made a pretty good move with their unique blend. They fit perfectly on every extreme metal stage, adding some variation to whatever is on the bill. Of course some hardcore narrow minded genre-addicts will frown upon the innovatory style presented on this album but still it will be an absolute blast on stage. The songs are filled with energy, intensity and a morbid sense of humour. Moshpits will appear, stage divers will smash themselves onto others and guitar players will look on in absolute 'how-the-hell-do-they-do-that' amazement.
I don't know if 'amazement' is a decent English word but from now on it is. 'Cosmic Devourer' amazed me. 'Bolter' stunned me. 'M.B.M.' knocked me over. This is utter brutality at its most crushing and with an immense amount of variety. In fact, as hesitant and full of wonder I was at the beginning of this album, now I'm convinced that Gloom is a highly talented extreme metal band, capable of winning over many people within the genres. 'The Halfman' and 'Mass Infection' for example, brilliantly combine death metal with hardcore punk and atmospheric black metal. It bites, it kicks and it slashes like a vicious beast on the hunt.
Anyway, if you're ready to say farewell to your sanity, you should give this album a shot. You'll be constantly thrown between extremes and torn apart by some of the most violent combinations I've heard in a while. Yet, you will be delighted because of this refreshing sound, even though it's quite disturbing sometimes. I can't help but wonder how all of this will be presented on stage, and how the audience will react. But I guess many audience members will be as impressed as I am...