When a band appear out of nowhere with a sound and release that makes one stop and pour full attention on its fresh and stirring body it simply lifts and re-energises the enthusiasm to continually search and listen to each and every new band that comes into view. Russians Grenouer is such a band though they are not really as such only fresh to these ears. The band itself has been a force in their country for many years but have yet to obviously make a truly striking mark outside of their homeland borders. With their excellent new mini album Computer Crime released via UK label Copro Records, they could turn the current interest from the rest of Europe into a much more powerful energy towards them.
Formed in 1992 the history of the band seems to be one of continual change or evolution going by their bio, not only in people but sound, and not a slight change either. Initially the St. Petersburg band was an underground/death metal band and with a sound which found a definition and maturity by the time of their debut album Border of Misty Times in 1996. Three more albums followed in the shape of Gravehead, The Order O’Folly and Presence with War between 1999 and 2003 to establish the band with fans and the underground media.
2006 saw the release of Try and a new sound for the band as they moved from within their death metal sound into a more experimental sound combined with industrial and polyrhythmic invention. The album took them to the attention of the likes of Hard Rock, Rock Sound and Metal Hammer and into a full album release with Casket Music. Next came Lifelong Days in 2008 through Locomotive Records and a busy time of festival and touring to share stages with bands such as Anathema, Cradle Of Filth, Soilwork, Pro Pain, Neurosis, Entombed, Tiamat, Testament, Textures, and Tesseract. Another rethinking of direction and sound emerged from this point with the discussions and differing opinions causing the band to go through a line-up change as it split in half. Vocalist Andrey Ind and guitarist Alexander Motor brought in second guitarist Igor Arbue and drummer Michael Coroner to replace the departed members of Grenouer, and worked on new songs to add to three recorded before the split. The new hard rock and post grunge lined sound took inspiration from the likes of Alice In Chains, Filter, Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden. With a quintet of tracks renewed, produced and mixed at ‘Astia’ Studio in Finland with Anssi Kippo, who played bass and keys on the songs, and Jonas Kooto, the band created Computer Crime.
The release opens with Last Stop, a track which immediately announces its arrival with muscular riffs, intimidating rhythms and a predatory prowl around the ear. Sharp melodies cut through the intensity with a sure and satisfying craft whilst the growling intensity of the song is never far away, eager and ready to pounce from behind the inventive play and strong smooth vocals of Ind. The song offers up a mix of Gruntruck, Prong, and The Sun Explodes with more than a Meshuggah flavour to the rhythms and riffs.
The following Rejected is an equally impressive and welcome invasion of the ear, placing its creative melodic enterprise and blood pumping darkened energy upon the senses with craft. The bass of Kippo is a brooding stalking beast which adds a glorious sturdy and threatening vein to the openly appealing song.
One highlight of a very impressive album is See No Sun. Opening on an emotive atmospheric melodic weave with an ethnic lining the song entrances and entices immediately. It reminds of Motherjane as it sways and lights up the emotions, the controlled and passion fuelled path a compulsive and touching experience. Then the track unleashes a surprising inner blackness in an intense and venomous expulsion mid way in before returning to the captivating grace before.
The powerful and equal best track on Computer Crimes is Fix Your Life and with Golden Years completes the release. The first is a blend of towering riffs and spiky melodic intrusions whilst the latter a warm and vibrant track which without the harder edge of the other songs is still as rewarding and an infectious song that soon has one involved.
Grenouer maybe new to a great many but with Computer Crimes that is sure to change, and the recommendation is to just go find it before it finds you.