Saturday, December 21, 2013

Grethor – Galaxia Infinitum

Galaxia Infinitum” marks the first EP for the black/death metal band Grethor out of the United States. After a couple of demos, the band unleashed this 22-minute offering of extreme metal that is equal parts strange and heavy. As is probably already apparent to you, the band gives off a pretty strong imagery even before hearing the music. Once diving into the tunes after a short intro, you will find that “Galaxia Infinitum” is really nothing that hasn’t been done before. This is a pretty noisy release, and will definitely please those who hate crystal clear production. With that said, the sound quality is by no means unbearable, and is actually quite appropriate for black metal. This is best displayed in the first couple of minutes of “Anomaly X”, where the band plays some relatively slower, melodic riffs that should appeal to fans of more atmospheric black metal. The drums are surprisingly leisurely in this track, as they mostly try to compliment the drawn-out riffs of the guitars. Vocally, this singer takes a bit of a strange approach. He definitely has a solid low range, but he also has some strange almost animalistic higher sounds coming out of him at some points. I can’t even imagine how one would go about making those kinds of vocals. 

The other three songs are mostly similar to the first full track. The band straddles the line between metal’s two most extreme subgenres with relative ease, and like many of the bands in those subgenres, they unfortunately do little to stand out. Across all four tracks, there is rarely a riff that will incite headbanging, nor a melody that will remain with you when the EP is over, but that really isn’t the point of this atmospheric style. Grethor is a band much like Burzum, Dissection, or Drudkh, where the quality comes from the feelings created by the unresolved tension of certain chords. At times, however, they can get a bit more traditional. “Tenebrous”, for example, has some more standard thrash-style riffing, but ultimately the song comes back to the atmosphere. Another example is "Hypatia", where the band speeds up considerably and incorporates plenty of blast beats. While everything about “Galaxia Infinitum” is very well-done, it is certainly not a release for everyone. The sadistic sounds of the vocalist are intriguing at first, but quickly turn to ear piercing as the record goes on. In addition, the general noisiness of the record can make it difficult to listen to at times. There is certainly an audience for this sound, and Grethor will manage to captivate that audience, but this record is not particularly my style.

Be sure to check out and like Grethor on Facebook!


Final Rating
3.5/5 or 70%. 

Written by Scott