Over the past few years, I have covered Chilean bands a good number of times, and in recent times the emphasis has overtly shifted from Death Metal to Black Metal. Whereas before, one great Death Metal band after another was fired at us from the South American country, it is now mostly Black Metal. But although the musical form differs, there is an obvious common thread in Chilean music: it is all raw, pure and full of passion.
Although many Chilean Black Metal has already been discussed here, this is only the first time for Grollheim – despite the fact that ‘Broken Inscriptions Of Perversity’ is already the sixth demo tape, and then I don’t even count the three split releases. Speaking in my favor then is the fact that these nine releases were all released in the span of just two years, so… if you don’t pay attention for a moment, you’re sometimes substantially behind right away.
Of course it can always happen that something slips just beyond your attention, the main argument for Grollheim not reaching my radar so far is a fairly logical one: despite the fact that eight releases preceded ‘Broken Inscriptions Of Perversity’, this is only the first one that we can put under the “Metal” category. Prior to that, the illustrious Grollheim merely delved into the Dungeon Synth genre, something I personally do not reject, but have my eyes on a little less.
But the fact that this is just a first attempt at Black Metal, by the way, is not something that immediately stands out, and that is no wonder since Grollheim is yet another brainchild of the jack-of-all-trades and Black Metal-polymath Lord Valtgryftåke. This musician possibly has more hours in a day and more days in a week than anyone else. With clockwork regularity, we are treated to music from his hand. Granted, not all of it is equally good or essential and possibly he could also shuffle his music under a handful of fewer aliases and projects, but when Lord Valtgryftåke is involved (and in this case, he is again on his own) you can at least assume that you are dealing with bawdy stuff.
In this, Grollheim is definitely no exception. ‘Broken Inscriptions Of Perversity’ is an extremely gritty piece of work than leans on chilling screams, rattling drums and a piercing guitar sound coming together in an ultra-raw sound that verges on Lo-Fi. In a dark splendor, the 26 minutes go by in a truly gnarly fashion, leaving mostly a feeling that parallels that of the late 90’s and early 00’s underground Black Metal. All well laced with Dark Ambient/Dungeon Synth and a nice dose of authenticity. Besides the production asset, it’s definitely the icy screams – the man must possess a considerably tormented soul – that make this demo feel almost like torture. The dark synth parts in between don’t give you a breather, but further immerse you in total hallucinatory lunacy.
Of course, this balance between Black Metal and Dark Ambient/Dungeon Synth is nothing new for Lord Valtgryftåke, on the contrary, in fact it is exactly as we have come to expect from him, although with Grollheim he does push new boundaries of grittiness and test the listenability of his music. Or maybe it’s more testing the tolerance of his audience’s hearing and mental well-being, whatever the case, ‘Broken Inscriptions Of Perversity’ is actually exactly what the title already gives away: it’s a perverse piece of snake charming dark art.