Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Ghremdrakk - Je m'Exalte
Grievantee, 2007
Genre: Black Metal

1. Toxicomanie
2. Tempelgruis
3. Astree Vortex
4. De Ascent
5. Chaos Home
6. Unheimisch
7. Chemikinesis
8. Servitor, Servitor
9. Voidtrek

After "Sterrenpracht" I was pretty excited when "Je m'Exalte" got announced, because I was very curious how this band would grow out of the solid foundation they laid on their debut album. Signing with Grievantee, I had some decent hopes for the release. All of these hopes were dashed against the rocks once first Black Metal song hit.

Now, I fully know, that Shatraug loves raw production and sometimes it can really work well. The obvious Horna inspiration among other bands, I'm sure is what drew Shatrauge to release this band... but the raw production is pushed way too far on this release. "Sterrenpracht" was, honestly, a far more perfect production quality for Ghremdrakk's sound. It's an absolute shame that "Je m'Exalte" is having these problems, because all of this music is actually quite well composed. If they had used similar production values, then this would be over an hour of some extremely wonderful Black Metal. Sadly, everything feels overly distorted, with the cymbal crashes drowning out far too much of the guitars. Meanwhile Gaur's vocals screech over the mix. If this was mixed and balanced more audibly, I would be impressed, because he really gives Torog's performance on "By the Blessing of Satan" a run for its money, which is truly impressive. Sometimes the writing on "Je m'Exalte" is an improvement over "Sterrenpracht," but at other times some out of place riffing can show up as in "Chemikinesis" which has a catchier riff that just doesn't fit.

Even though I got a bit used to the production as I listened through the album, it is still quite a step down from "Sterrenpracht". It really mars how enjoyable this album could have been. Slogging through over an hour of production like this is pretty difficult. A decent portion of their songs are near the nine minute mark in length and perhaps this was a bit too long for some songs. If you're interested in checking out Ghremdrakk I would start with their debut, and if you absolutely love the project check out this album. Perhaps really adoring the style will help overcome the production downgrade.

Ghremdrakk - Sterrenpracht
GoatoWarex, 2005
Genre: Black Metal

1. De Sfeer van Daath
2. Doodsbidders
3. Geselvaart
4. Doorheen de Nevel der Sterren
5. Nachtelijke Fanfare
6. Wegen Oazer God
7. Naar de Kring
8. Craeyeveld

Ghremdrakk is a Belgian band playing a fairly raw style of Black Metal. I haven't listened to Ghremdrakk in many years and I got this around when it was first released. It had actually gotten to the point where I'd completely forgotten what this had sounded like. Usually that doesn't bode well for bands in my collection. Revisiting "Sterrenpracht", was actually an enjoyable thing for me this evening.

While I would never say "Sterrenprecht" is an amazing listen or a must hear, I did quite enjoy the album. Ghremdrakk aren't doing anything new to Black Metal, but they do a pretty nice job at writing and composing a cohesive album. I'm not sure anything is particularly memorable to me, but I'm looking at "Sterrenpracht" as a whole and the atmosphere they manage to conjure is a really excellent one. While a lot of the songs can fall to the background, since none of the riffs really cut through and command attention, the droning quality to their music makes for an excellent and rather calming affect amidst all the harshness in their raw style. I would say this band is sitting somewhere between the realms of Moonblood and Horna, but without any of the aforementioned bands' catchy riffing style. Ghremdrakk keeps their sound very basic and minimal, and strangely it really works for them. In that spectrum I managed to find quite a bit of enjoyment. The music isn't particularly fast either, instead favoring a more mid-paced style and feel to lull the listener into their world.

So, if you really like that raw and cold sounding Black Metal, I do recommend checking out Ghremdrakk. I found their album to be quite enjoyable. While I may not find the music to capture my memory deeply, I seem to enjoy what they're doing whenever it's on, so they must be doing something right! Sometimes they're throw in these extra textures like acoustic or clean guitar sections and they really stand out wonderfully.

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