actually tagged this 'pop' and even 'Britney Spears'. Some metalheads have a weird taste of humor if you ask me. Nothing about this album is poppy or 'spearsy' but I'd love to hear My Grimace do a Britney cover. It would effin' rock!!!
On to the album then. Grim Serenades is the debut for this Finnish sextet. Now I know I said there's little 'fun' on this album but I meant that in the most positive way possible. This is a monstrous album, filled with crushing yet melodic death metal. It sounds as if it comes directly from the nineties, when Arch Enemy still had a male vocalist and In Flames had just signed with Nuclear Blast. Get ready for a headbanging rollercoaster you won't easily forget.
My Grimace has little use for intros, after a few keyboard notes the blastbeats and highly intense
riffs immediately grab your attention and lure you in as if you're their prey. Believe me, in some
way you are prey to these Fins. However, in stead of slowly attracting you, they drag you into their battlefield and unleash every weapon they have in order to achieve complete annihilation. We're dealing with some very skilled musicians and songwriters here, taking influences from a number of styles and blending them into a highly effective weapon.
There's elements from old school death, thrash and black metal but also some progressive passages and even some atmospheric pieces. These elements make Grim Serenades an extremely varied album, coming very near some of my favorite albums in these genres. Even in the vocals there's plenty of variation, from death growls over clean vocals to eerie shrieks and screams. Yet, the clean vocals aren't often used, only when they fit in perfectly. In 'Reveal Nothing', for example, this combination of vocals truly reaches perfection.
Besides the previously mentioned bands, I'm often reminded of Children Of Bodom, especially in 'Drink Of Death' and Dimmu Borgir, but there's clearly some influences from Napalm Death and Hypocrisy here as well. Remembering that these are all pretty big bands in their respective genres, might give you an idea of the quality of the songs on Grim Serenades. This is indeed melodic death metal at a very high level. Anthems like title track 'Grim Serenade' (which sounds exactly like it promises) and 'Dire Need' are simply awesome.
Now, in all honesty, I didn't see the true genius of My Grimace only after a few songs. This album
seems to start out as a pretty decent one but quickly starts growing onto the listener, tightening its grip. I'm very surprised by this effort, in a good way. Grim Serenades is a dangerously addictive death metal trip, using every possible weapon in its arsenal to make My Grimace a big name in this genre. So, fans, buy it. Festivals, book them. Earth, fear them...