The Grotesquery
The Lupine Anathema and other Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre

To say I was pleased as Punch when I saw the new album, The Lupine Anathema and other Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre, from The Grotesquery in the review queue, here at Teeth of the Divine, is more than just an understatement. Considering the fact that the band had seemed to call it quits after the release of their third full-length, Curse of the Skinless Bride, claiming that they had completed and accomplished their conceptual trilogy of albums and basically, felt that the band had done everything they had set out to do. Yet low and behold, here we have a brand spanking new album awaiting to be devoured by the unsuspecting metal masses. So no, pleased just doesn’t quite convey my excitement and pure fucking ecstatic and anticipatory hopefullness that awaited  within The Lupine Anathema and other Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre ( or just The Lupine Anathema for the rest of this review, ‘cuz I’m not typing that long ass name one more time).

To those with ears virginal to the sounds of The Grotesquery, it probably will come as no surprise in finding out that Rogga Johansson (Paganizer, Ribspreader, Down Among the Dead Men, Putrevore, Echelon, Johansson & Speckmann) is involved in this project. After all, one can hardly throw a rock in the extreme metal scene without hitting one of the man’s many bands. Add the mighty Kam Lee (Mantas/Death, Massacre, Denial Fiend, Bone Gnawer, Akatharta) and bassist, Johan Berglunnd (Echelon), and drummer, Brynjar Helgetun (Johansson & Speckmann, Cyrpticus), and what you get is a solid, well crafted, impressive, and enjoyable body of work that successfully blends the better moments of the member’s previous and present bands into an old school, head stomping slab of horror flavored death metal. A little Swedeath might (Entombed, Bloodbath), a little huff and heft of the U.K. (Bolt Thrower, Benediction), and of course, a bit of Floridian/Americanized brutality (Massacre, Denial Fiend) all wrapped up in a skin suit aura of Crypticus and Fetid Zombie.

Friends, I’m not going to lie to you. There’s nothing on this album that you haven’t already heard before, but don’t let that, let you pass this thing up. Original or not, this is some extremely well written material and more than solid. In fact, I’d say every track on The Lupine Anathema is a winner, with no real slack or filler to be found; including the short narrative track/ almost title track, “The Lupne Anathema: Advent of the Werewolf”, and its brief but informative tale, influenced of Lovecraftian lore meeting Algonquin legend. Whether it’s the Gothenburg meets Denial Fiend opening and driving melodious flair of “By Feral Ways”, or the fatttened groove and melodic and sinister tremolo happenings within “The Faceless God”, or the aptly titled, and one of my personal favorites, ”Dark Cry of the Wolf”, you’ll have plenty of great material to sink your teeth into. The ability to channel acts like Nosferatu and Sisters of Mercy into an ever so slight vibe within the group’s already established sound in the aforementioned, “Dark Cry of theWolf” is quite impressive and adds to the zeal and avidity that The Grotesquery manages to capture.

Also adding to that ardor is, of course, the stylings of Kam Lee. Admittedly, Lee’s involvement in The Grotesquery is a big draw for me. Not that the man has ever really been a multifaceted vocalist, but what he does, he does damn well. And what he does, is not only deliver and provide some intriguing storylines and killer growls and gurgles, but he also maintains an air of fun within his serious demeanor of esophageal rampages. An air that is upbeat, raucous, and in your face, very punk like in attitude, but full of death metal fervor.

Through and through, The Lupine Anathema is a really good and sometimes great album that kicks some old school ass. If you’re a fan of any of the member’s prior and/or current bands, then I don’t see how The Lupine Anathema wouldn’t be appealing to you as well. The band really seems to take the time to give each track its own identity and personality, yet they fit together with one another like pieces of a puzzle, bringing together and completing the overall picture as a whole perfectly. With a variety of tempos and change ups within each song The Grotesquery achieves a top-notch atmosphere of dirty, dank, organic, earthen forebodingness that should really satisfy many a metalhead. Hopefully, the group has a lot more material planned for us fans, as I feel their best album has yet to come, which truly makes for an interesting and exciting future ride for fans and listeners.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
May 9th, 2018

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