Distributor/label: Edgewood Arsenal Records
Distributor/label URL: N/A
Released: 26th January 2018
Buy Album [URL]: https://grethor.bandcamp.com/album/damnatio-memoriae
Band Website: Http://grethor.bandcamp.com/
Marcus Lawrence – Vocals
Tony Petrocelly – Guitar, Bass
Brian Frost – Guitar
Anthony Rouse – Drums
1 – The Imminent Unknown
2 – The God of Eugenics
3 – The Last Manifesto
4 – Embracing Oblivion
5 – Tongue of Argent
6 – Enantiodromia
7 – Requiem for a Strawman
8 – Weaponized Madness
9 – Manic Nostalgia
10 – From This Rot so Shall We Be Remade
11 – Wounds of Ruin
Grethor, which incidentally is a name derived from the Klingon version of Hell (source Bandcamp, I don’t wish to be brow beaten to death by a bunch of pissed off Star Trek nerds if I’m wrong), hail not from the far reaches of space, but from Northern Virginia in the good old USA. This is in fact their sixth release, mainly being because they have been around for a little while, since around 2007 to be precise, and you would expect a band that has been around for a while to at least have an album or two under their belt or we would start to think they where either extremely meticulous or just bone lazy.
Grethor ARE in fact, extremely meticulous, but not at all lazy so that is a lucky thing for us. Black Death or Blackened Death, Extreme Metal if you so like, one thing you will definitely agree with me on about this album is that it is one very heavy sinister sounding piece of work. The band are as tight as the lock on a vestal virgin’s chastity belt.
Vocals are decidedly dark as all fuck and range from demonic gurgles to the pierced shrieks of a deranged banshee. The fretwork is almost exhausting in its complexity and is highly reminiscent at times of a certain Trey whats his name, but this is no mere clone of any band that you can name. One minute the guitar will be all Black and tremolo the Christ out of you, the next a giant Death riff rolls out of the frenzy and crushes you with sheer power.
Bass and drums do their parts with great gusto, a pummeling back line of foul intent, check out the drums on ‘The God of Euegenics’ for instance. Talk about making a statement, they are pretty much faultless, giving the blast when needed, and showing us all a lesson in control when the song slows down a tad. The bassline on “Manic Nostalgia’ is also an exercise in superb delivery.
Highlights? Well apart from the above mentioned, ‘Weaponized Madness’ is the perfect example of just how crushing Grethor can be. It’s the exact opposite of many a song on this album and really points to the fact that our friends here can sit very comfortably in both the Death and Black fields without compromising one inch of absolute power.
Hail Grethor. If this is any version of Hell then I’m all for it. May they drag us all down with their might.
The Great Mackintosh