Grimfist - Ten Steps To Hell
Blackened Death/Thrash Metal
10 songs (43:13)
Release year: 2005
Grimfist, Candlelight
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

One of those excellent bands that inexplicably few people have heard of, this Norwegian bunch of reprobates have more killer riffs in one track than most of the new wave of rubbish Thrash revivalist albums combined. It’s hard to sum Grimfist’s genre up exactly, as the band mixes everything from Thrash to Death into the mixture and gives it a light coating of Blackened atmosphere – what is obvious from even a single necksnapping listen is that Grimfist easily deserve the sort of kudos that the likes of Susperia eat up. A refreshingly open approach to songwriting means that you’re as likely to hear children laughing over eerie violins as you are Megadethian riff-trades, and the variation means that you’re unlikely to grow tired of the album quickly, yet Frediablo’s harsh presence means that this band are a step heavier than most of what’s in your little brother’s collection. There are moments like Breed Apart and Tools Of The Trade which even burst into full-on blastbeat-driven Black Metal, and the opening section of Reap The Fire is about as Cannibal Corpse as it’s possible to get without actually being them.

It’s the perfect balance between brutality and melody that makes this album as good as it is, however. The likes of Unborn switch between groovy catchiness and gnarly heaviness with room for Scar Symmetry-esque clean vocals, yet it all works together wonderfully. Even when your head is being pounded there’s the background hint of melody to follow, the blue sky after the storm, and it’s all majestically intense thanks to the musicians involved. Guitarist Ole Walaunet may be more familiar to readers due to his presence in The Batallion, but clearly knows his riffs and puts plenty of them to good use. Birger Larsen and Christian Svendsen (also of Tsjuder and The Cumshots, amongst others) meanwhile, provide an excellent rhythm section that brings up the rear without getting lost in the action.

Picking highlights is shooting fish in a barrel. The Power’s opening roar of ‘grimness... rising from the north’ heralds something pretty darn special if the piledriving riffs weren’t a good enough hint (the Doom-ridden breakdown is little short of awesome) and the only weak moments from then on are the two interludes. Breed Apart’s foray into Katatonia territory, the epic chorus and drum-driven outro of Unborn, The Ashes Of The Gods’ wild soloing, all are great fun, and all make for a more than solid album. This is actually the band’s second full length; a third is apparently being written at the moment, and if it’s as good as Ten Steps To Hell, then it’ll be a must-have indeed for fans of catchy brutality.

Killing Songs :
The Power, Separations Of My Soul, Breed Apart, Reap The Fire
Goat quoted 84 / 100
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