GRIN - Decision 120

Grin - Decision 120

6 songs
36:20 minutes
***** ****


It is always an interesting experience to hear a self-produced CD because two thoughts are travelling my mind: 1. they don't have to act under the pressure of label expectations and 2. they probably haven't hit the styles most labels are looking for these days.

Grin probably fulfil both of these points, but that doesn't mean that they are only a mediocre metal band. By no means. Decision 120 is the most refreshing CD I have heard this year so far, and it's already close to November. The dark cover layout (so dark you nearly can't recognise anything) and the band name should already hint into the right direction. Grin was also an album by the Swiss prog metal legend Coroner, and even if Grin (the band) are not sounding exactly the same, they also play a kind of fierce progressive metal... something which has nothing to do with what most people understand by that name nowadays. Especially the drumming is so fierce and yet so technical that it's a pleasure to listen to the rhythm alone. As if late Eighties German school prog metal (Mekong Delta, early Sieges Even) have been transferred to the power school of the new millennium. Add a bit of VoiVod, and you are nearly there.

Does this mean that Grin are unoriginal. Well, maybe they don't reinvent the genre of progressive thrash metal, but they have chosen a sub-genre which has proven extremely unpopular with the music industry, and thereby show a huge amount of courage. Decision 120 is not an album you can listen to with one ear only. It takes both of them, and a lot of attention, too, to get all the details and finesse of this nearly-masterpiece. Because beware, there may only be six songs, but most of them are longer than your average metal song, giving Grin enough room to show off their technical abilities, but also their high songwriting skills.

The only reason I am not giving the maximum rating of 10 points is because I expect even more of this band... maybe adding jazziness to the progginess, and staying as brutal as ever. But that's just my opinion. 9 Euro plus postage is also a very social price.

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