Grim Drowsiness - _Grim Drowsiness_
by: Daniel Cairns (2.5 out of 5)
With a name like that, you'd expect a Stephen O' Malley drone metal project or something. But alas, the Gods haven't provided me with anything that interesting. Grim Drowsiness are apparently a melodic death metal band (though I myself hear very little death here, it's more symphonic). They also seem to have an average age of sixteen, judging by the photo on their CD, which makes an old curmudgeon like me hate them.

Personal grievances aside, this is reasonable. They're clearly talented musicians, and this is a well produced, glossy package. However, well produced and glossy does not an exceptional record make, and Grim Drowsiness make my anger bulb flash on several counts.

The first problem is the singer. He isn't awful, but he's flat, lifeless and basically not up to the standard of other metal berks. The music itself meanwhile is the very epitome of humdrum. If you've heard any other melodic metal, you've basically heard Grim Drowsiness.

What got my noodle baking though, was their claim that the "elaborate patterns and phrasings found in each song give space to dreamlike lyrics that complete the compositions".

Aye, alright.

Seriously, why would we care about elaborate patterns and phrasings? Only wankers are interested in rubbish like that, and elaborate isn't the word I'd use to describe this stuff anyway. They then go on to name-check a few classical composers in their blurb, which is fair enough, but when you mix classical with metal, the name Apocalyptica flashes in your head, and you find yourself heading for the nearest hyper-sludge-grind-hardcore-crust-violence album before you shit yourself and cry. Thus, Grim Drowsiness are guilty by association for making me think of those cello-molesting fuckheads.

The problem is that there's no oomph about the band. The best symphonic metal music is epic, overwrought and so ludicrously stupid that it becomes genius (i.e. any of Rhapsody's output). Grim Drowsiness are none of these things. Grim Drowsiness are conservative, safe and about as epic as a poodle learning how to use a bidet.

Grim Drowsiness are talented musicians, and despite my rampant pig ignorant ravings, this isn't awful. They could be pretty good if they scrub up in certain areas and grow some metallic testicles. As it stands however, there's a real lack of spirit here, and they sound like a mildly peeved Lacuna Coil. And if there's one thing we don't need, it's another band that sounds like Lacuna fucking Coil.


(article published 24/2/2009)

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