Album: Monumental Microcosm (EP)
Released date: September 15th, 2017
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal
Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Black metal is not meant to be friendly and tame, as it demands to be wild and unpredictable. And that is what we totally get with this 2017 EP called “Monumental Microcosm” from Australia‘s atmospheric black metal band Greytomb. The EP has those characteristics that fans of the black metal genre are looking for, but the thing is, even with all the evident strong BM traits that attract a wide number of fans in the extreme metal realm, it still lacks that impact that can separate it from the crowd of atmospheric black metal bands coming out these days.
The first listen I have with this EP, I already got the idea that this is gonna be one of those records where I am going to get caught in either loving it or hating it so I gave the record a couple more spins to really get into their music. And after giving it a few more listen, I came to a conclusion that even with the number of positive elements found in this EP it still is another garden variety record in the field of black metal music. What I do love about “Monumental Microcosm” is its blasting drum department that almost is in the style of grindcore and that it is atmospheric yet it did not need the assistance of any keyboard to conjure the dense nihilistic undercurrent.
On the guitar section, the listeners are bound to adore the sheer heaviness of the doom riffs present in here. These doomy guitar features will take you to a clandestine and cold place which is really satisfying for BM fans. This record is also loaded with stormy tremolo picking which gives each of the songs a more of a raw feeling and vibe into them. The guitar department also is surprisingly melodic even with that raw approach. Its melodies are very grim and menacing that it will evoke and stimulate the listeners with a feeling of going around in circles in a metaphysical sphere and otherworldly domain. These fervent yet melodic riffs are enthralling and it adds as a pleasing component to the competent side of the EP, but then again we can almost hear this in most records released under this genre.
The bass here is also in some measure audible and it certainly aids in generating that cloudy and profound atmosphere in the album, though it does nothing out of the ordinary. And yes, it does its job to beef up the whole resonance and it never really breaks out of the matrix. We now go to the pummeling and rapid-fire drumming that is one of the things that will attract attention to the audiences in the EP. It’s insanely fast and the amount of blast beats found in here intelligibly brings a reminiscence of Greytomb‘s mastery in its former musical domain as Subterranean Drilling Machine.
Dysmorphic and obscure vocal delivery are what we would find when we talk about the vocal section in this album, with a variety of vocal techniques extending from low hair-splitting snarls to high pitched shrieks. This witheringly scornful vocal performance leaves an impression on some listeners, especially to those who are first timers in the black metal genre, but after a couple of spins, it will sound just like the platitude of vocal performances that we hear from the crowds of atmospheric black metal acts these days.
With all that said, Greytomb was able to deliver a capable and competent material with the release of their 2017 EP “Monumental Microcosm“. However, even with some good and convincing factors present in the offering, the band wasn’t able to turn the wheel and separate their music from the mundane horde of atmospheric black metal groups swarming both the underground and mainstream extreme music scene today. Yes, this album is good and at some point satisfying to the ears, but there is really nothing special and great about it. Maybe in future releases, Greytomb will finally get the ingredients right.
Originally written for https://thepitofthedamned.blogspot.com