Kvlt Kolvmn covers noteworthy, unpretentious “trve” releases from the realms of black, death and doom metal. 

No one should be surprised that “eco-metal” is now a thing. Black metal and nature have been bedfellows since the genre’s inception, with Wolves In the Throne Room‘s Cascadian hippy-shtick following a long lineage of bands channeling the atmosphere of their homeland’s surrounding wilderness. But groups like Botanist have taken it upon themselves to specifically proselytize as Mother Nature’s saplings (this is said with a positive undertone, mind you). Grima has set out to join the movement, as the duo’s debut offering Devotion to Lord draws strength from the trees of Siberia to produce one of the strongest atmospheric BM releases of this year .

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With eco-metal at the center of this post, it’s tempting (and appropriate) to compare Grima to WITTR in terms of their approach to atmospheric BM. But there’s a split within Grima’s sound that acts as their greatest calling card: their BM is faster and more vicious, and their melodic sensibilities are astonishingly refined for a band that’s just now arriving on the scene. And when the duo fuses these elements, the result is a perfect harmony that illuminates both the grace and treachery of the forest. Grima doesn’t hesitate to throw in a folksy treat hear and there either; if someone presented “In Dreams” to me as a new Agalloch track, I’d believe them without hesitation and rave over the track’s succinct but potent beauty. It’s also refreshing to see a metal band using interludes as an asset rather than an obligatory pause, with “In the Woods” straddling the line between Planning for Burial and Woods of Desolation for a fitting passage into the album’s epic closing track.

I may not be prepping a move into the woods to live among the shrubbery, but I could definitely get used to BM bands playing under the eco-metal banner if they match the quality of Devotion to Lord. And if this is what Grima has to offer right out of the gate, consider me a deservedly earned new fan awaiting their follow-up with great anticipation.

-SM

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