Grunt – Myth of Blood LP Freak Animal 2015
Three years have already passed since the release of the exceptional ‘World Draped In A Camouflage’ album, where this new full length follows a similar approach bedded down on the last, i.e. by featuring a collection of individual and uncompromising tracks; each displaying a clear diversity of approach within a general industrial / noise / power electronics framework.
The opening cut ‘Black Flag’ commences the album in unhinged fashion with swirling/ grinding layered noise, sporadic junk metal sounds and harsher static elements as the screeched / distorted vocals yell the track’s title (sampled operatic vocals are also used but barely discernible and only becoming apparent after a number of listens). This is followed by the early album standout ‘Ghosts of Old Europe’, being based on a basic structure of sustaining buzzing tone and background lurching loops, further augmented with a heady dose of metallic clangs and distant wailed vocals. Additionally semi-buried droning abstract strings add a melancholic tone, as Mikko’s prominent trademark gruff yelled and slightly treated vocals provide a level of raw aggression. ‘Interrogation Paranoia’ then shifts the mood toward more noisier realms, based on its spitting and sustained frequencies (mid to higher piecing tonal range), whilst the vocals are more antagonistically accusing in their delivery. ‘Linkola Legacy’ arrives as the most divergent track of the album, based around a fractured and partly rhythmic tone, sounding like a switch being flicked between different noise generator settings. Wet and squelching sounding static infused loops feature as the backing for ‘Unmarked Graves’, which is then pushed into noisy chaotic realms with further layers of distortion and rough barked vocals. ‘Ordeal of Water’ is based around a core of junk metal abuse and as a consequence is loose and chaotic, where the vocals relegated to gurgled and pain inflected screams which do not seem to be articulating any actual words. The title track is another clear standout, with sustained mid toned distortion and revving noise loops, as an underpinning accordion drone provides a dour edge to the track’s mood. A low cyclic noise drone commences ‘Saws Are Waiting’, but evolves in the latter half to contains a rather fist pumping and anthemic PE quality, due to its strong militant rhythmic loop and (again) trademark wailed vocals of Mikko (junk metal clatter also makes a late track appearance).
Focused and forceful, each of the 10 tracks are perfectly controlled, again being an absolute demonstration of Mikko’s mastery of his honed sound. This stands as a testament to his ability to construct varied and distinct PE compositions which never forsakes a gritty industrial and noise infused underground aesthetic. Given its individual track based approach this quite feels like the brother/ companion album to ‘World Draped In A Camouflage’, although it does not achieve the same level of immediate impact, rather is more of a slow burner in revealing it true character. Regardless, ‘Myth of Blood’ is another extremely strong addition to Grunt’s catalogue.