Grimlord - Dolce Vita Sath-anas
Trident Harmony
Progressive Heavy/Death/Thrash Metal
9 songs (49'44)
Release year: 2009
Reviewed by Marty
Polish metalers Grimlord released this (their second album) last year actually and with it came major improvements in sound, production and direction although they still tended to be all over the metal map so to speak with Dolce Vita Sath-anas. The vocals were the main complaint I had with their debut album as I felt vocalist, guitarist Barth La Picard just didn't have a strong enough voice for this band. For this album, Barth uses a tougher, sneering death metal style that even touches a bit on the classic Dave Mustaine snarl. But, just when you start to get used to his newer and somewhat improved vocals, the last 6 tracks are totally instrumental and devoid of any vocals whatsoever!

The first three songs, the title track Dolce Vita Sath-anas as well as When The Heads Are Going Down and Oh! My King see a very different approach this time around for this band. Now, more of Children of Bodom, Evergrey progressive metal style dominates their sound. Machine gun riffing, sprinkles of keyboards and an overall chaotic death metal style heralds the arrival of a whole new sound for Grimlord. Both When The Heads Are Going Down and Oh! My King are very interesting listens with a stronger sense of melody, sudden starts/stops and lots of instrumental interludes with the trills/tapping lead guitar style on Oh! My King being very solid indeed.

The remaining 6 tracks see Grimlord venturing further and further into progressive metal territory with elements of Dream Theater, yet more Evergrey influences and a definite heaping helping of 90's Voivod when they were also experimenting with a more progressive/psychedelic sound. The lack of vocals is compensated by thematic riffs with tracks like Dissolution of Eternity hauling back out the thrash metal of their earlier work. This one has lots of solid riffs, tempo changes and more excellent lead work giving the track a solid foundation built on atmosphere and energy. Ancient Land of Ys builds from a largely acoustic based track into an eerie and atmospheric heavy soundscape with Lamentation Sword using heavy and ominous riffing with a march-like Am I Evil like tempo.

I definitely enjoyed this album much more than their first album Blood Runneth Over. Some of their black metal influences from their previous band Vallachia still surface once in a while with the atmospheric keyboards and blast beats but Dolce Vita Sath-anas is a highly technical album that I really didn't think this band was capable of doing. This album boasts very solid musicianship and a very intense yet somewhat unorthodox approach to progressive metal. But, the chaotic, unorthodox and "all over the metal map" style that this band has is the very thing that is appealing about them. Highly unpredictable, heavy yet thematic and atmospheric, Grimlord keeps you guessing as to just what is coming up within the context of their songs. I'm not sure whether the instrumental approach is part of their new direction or an experiment to see if they could pull it off. Judging from what I hear, they have succeeded. The band would do better with still using some vocals yet further expanding their instrumental approach with longer epic songs to take advantage of the strengths of both aspects of their new sound. A very interesting listen this latest album is and if you like highly varied and unpredictable prog metal with some death and black metal influences, be sure to check out this album by Grimlord. The band is due to release another album V-Column later this year and it will be interesting so see how they proceed from here.

Killing Songs :
Oh! My King, Shade Of Wrath Angels and Disillusion Of Eternity
Marty quoted 75 / 100
Other albums by Grimlord that we have reviewed:
Grimlord - Blood Runneth Over reviewed by Marty and quoted 50 / 100
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