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Review: Grinning Shadows - The New Curse
Grinning Shadows
The New Curse

Label: Nadir Music
Year released: 2010
Duration: 29:37
Tracks: 5
Genre: Gothic Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: September 19, 2010
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
The New Curse

Rated 5/5 (100%) (3 Votes)

I have to admit, I really wasn't expecting too much from this. I mean come on, something labeled as gothic/black metal sounds like the embodiment of one of my nightmares. Upon listening to this album I realized that said label is quite off the mark. Sure there are some black metal passages, gothic synthesizers entwined into the music, and your token female cooing but overall this is more your modern progressive metal. Jagged riffage over back drops of double kicking, Gothenburg grooves, in all honesty you could write out a list of modern metal conventions and just tick each box off as you listen.

In all honesty though, this isn't that bad at all. Grinning Shadows boast three different vocal styles, the obvious beauty and the beast vocals common of the genre, as well as some more melodic male vocals which admittedly are the weakest side of their vocal spectrum. At five tracks and just under 30 minutes of music here I find it hard to call this a full-length, it really feels more of an EP. However that shouldn't really be seen as a bad thing, the short length makes it really easy to drop in for a quick listen and coming out of the listen I don't really have much negative to say. While their sound really is the amalgamation of a boat load of different styles, I never found it too overbearing. Tracks such as "Dirge" and "Scars of Remembrance" stand out as highlights. The former boasting a soothing acoustic intro coupled with some unsettling use of dissonance, and the latter featuring some dirty grooves that certainly get my blood pumping. Recommended to fans of female-fronted metal; particularly those of you who found enjoyment in the latest from Epica.

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