Grief Of Emerald
Christian Termination

Yes, Grief Of Emerald’s first three (four of you count the as of yet unreleased debut) albums did sound like Dimmu Borgir. Yes, they appear to be riding to coattails of other more commercially viable bands, and, yes, they do use keyboards. However with Christian Termination, the Swedes appear to have possibility shaken loose from the “Dimmu Borgir rip-off” moniker and unleashed an album of suprising savagery.

To give you an idea of how good this album is, I really didn’t care for Grief Of Emerald ‘s other albums, but Christian Termination has been on constant play since I got it. It does have its moments of Borgir-like synthetic atmosphere bridled with some trademark blasting. Personally though, I think the album blows away Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia (a good album in its own right, though), which is mainly, due to the fact it is much more death metal. The rotten, slimy current of Morbid Angel is ripe within most of the twisting and blasting, and it quickly washes away most of any Borgir-like qualities. Grief Of Emerald have taken Dimmu Borgir’s “Misanthropic” to influence and given it a more demonic noise, with much more emphasis on unpredictable riffs and stop-start time changes that at times remind me of a less involved Emperor. Standout tracks “The Almighty is Rising,” “Consumed by Fire” and “The Cause” are definitely in the vein of Prometheus: The Discipline… with their irregular, serpentine riffs. It’s not an exact comparison (Grief Of Emerald to Emperor), but at times, the songwriting’s marked improvement results in some very Emperor-like moments. Back to death metal. The band have seemed to make a concerted effort to be a little more intense in their keyboard lashing by incorporating lurching and Gates of Annihilation-style grinding into the otherwise synth-laden blasting. Sometimes the songs intertwine both elements and create some excellent moments. “Deformed Imaginations” is a classic Morbid Angel death metal slug that crawls along with precision and menace.

Of course, Christian Termination does at times tend to fall back on the typical symphonic blasting of previous efforts. The album opens with decent but furiously unoriginal “Alas, Spiriti Sancti.” It’s done incredibly well and still is aggressive in its delivery, but it’s only a minor bright spot in the band’s older repertoire. Even some of the hyper-riffage is more akin the backward riffage of Trey Azagoth, some of the riffs on display are simply mesmerizing in their complexity and satisfying predictability. Album closer “Humanity’s Fall” is prime example of how the band can turn off the influence valve. By having the keyboards slightly muted and allowing the killer axe work of Johnny and Jimmy carry the song, the result is a heavy-as-fuck song perfect for ending the album. The synth heavy,”Scum of the Earth,” with its spooky breakdown and spoken words, is musical plagiarism but that’s always the highest form of flattery. The guitars are downtuned and crushing, which carries most of the music, allowing Grief Of Emerald more time to bare teeth than Dimmu Borgir.

There will be those that slam Grief Of Emerald for being unoriginal, but fuck ’em. Christian Termination is simply a fantastic album of extreme metal that deserves your unequivocal attention by shutting off your genre bigotry and realizing originality can be overrated when a band decides to focus on producing well played, vehement music. Regardless of who it sounds like.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 3rd, 2002

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