Consummatum Est (Messor Grandis Productions) by Grand Harvest, a band once described as ‘Sweden’s most underrated metal band’ debuting a mix of melodic death and doom, with some touches of black metal I was quite interested to hear this.
One thing which is clear right from the first track ‘Sol Maledictor’ is the care and attention that has been put into the sound. The production and mixing are spot on, it’s clear that they wanted to put together a dark and oppressive atmosphere and for the most part they’ve succeeded.
The drums in particular stand out, resonating as you’d expect from doom, and when the double bass sections kick in, it can be genuinely exhilarating at times. The riffs are solid abrasive and chug away merrily. Tracks like ‘The Harrow’ and ‘Crowns to Ashes – Thrones to Dust’ are absolute bangers, notably the ones with the more standout chorus.
The press release for these mentions on a number of occasions to pay close attention to the lyrics of Dr. Häll, and it must be noted that compared to a lot of death metal contemporaries the lyrics are indeed for the most part quite discernible, despite their harshness and evoke the required level of Luciferian Misanthropy and related fulminations against god.
Now whilst all of this sounds very positive, and indeed it is. I can’t help but have some criticism of the album, and that is that the songs themselves are often far too similar to each other. ‘As Vultures Descend’ for instance is slower and doomier, but not by much.
The band often progresses through similar stages in their songs. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing when the music is of such quality, but there were more than a few times, even after a higher-than-normal number of listens, when I had to check which song I was listening to, or if it had changed recently.
I would have liked to have heard the songs having more distinct characteristics to differentiate themselves from each other. On many a death metal album it wouldn’t matter in the slightest, but here because of the scope of what they were trying to achieve it somehow became more notable. As I say that’s a minor criticism, it’s clear they’ve gone for atmosphere with that recording and in that they do succeed and, as debuts go, this is certainly a solid offering and well worth anyones time to listen to and enjoy.
7 / 10