Tuesday 17 May 2016

Review: Grimrik – 'Die Mauern Der Nacht'

'Die Mauern Der Nacht'

A sonic exploration of the boundaries that separate worlds, Berlin's Grimrik blend amazing synthwork with a cosmic sense of scope. The 80's retro sounds evoke Vangelis and Moroder, while the dark atmospherics harken back to the likes of Wongraven and era I Mortiis. The end result id not quite dungeon music and not quite sci-fi fantasy. It is Tolkein meets Lovecraft. The endless unfathomable void of space being harnessed atop the tower of Isengard.

In one sense it is closer to progressive electronics of Wendy Carlos and the Krautrock of Tangerine Dream as much as the atmospheric synthesizers of the black metal offshoot projects of the 90s. Songs such as 'Im Nebel', '
Der erste Kontakt', 'Vor Dem Sprung', 'Vorsichtige Schritte', and 'Letzte Zweifel' are delicate yet malevolent ambient pieces that draw the listener into a near trance of swirling and droning synths over which light melodies play in the cavernous space created. While the likes of 'Teleportiert (Reprise)', 'Im freien Fall (album version)', and 'Erlösung' add subtle beats and in the case of the final track some epic guitar work to create tracks with a little more drive and mass appeal that will entice more than just fans of ambient music.

In terms of the production it is quite retro in its flavours but still perfectly mixed and presented for a modern listener. The 80s synth sounds and electronic drums in particular sound like they have been pulled straight from a fantasy soundtrack. However it doesn't sound cheap or low-fi. If this was an 80s fantasy soundtrack it would have been a big budget one. And that's why this album sounds fresh and engaging.

This is a stunning album that anyone into progressive electronics, krautrock, dark ambient or dungeon music will not fail to enjoy. The deep level of skill in the songwriting and attention to detail in its execution make this a deeply gratifying listening experience. 

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