Grievance - The Phantom Novels

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Head Not Found
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 37:49:00

Grievance offers a surprising combination of modern Nordic black metal, traditional metal and progressive twists and turns. This is one of the few black metal CDs that I've actually bothered to listen to more than once. It is quite obvious that the two man strong band, Kenneth Finndahl (vocals, guitars, bass) and Robert Bordevik (drums, bass, clean vocals, guitars), have other musical influences than just black metal.

The CD has its share of typical up tempo BM-songs with grinding guitars and growling vocals which will please any BM fan. But there is more - another side shall we say. "Angels Succumb" is the best track on the CD and [I] wish that Grievance could write more tracks of this calibre. The song has massive haunting synths combined with great rhythm guitar work. The chorus mixes a tasteful use of clean and growling vocal lines. It has more of a power metal feel to it than the rest of the album. I think the guys should consider playing their special mix of BM and PM instead of the traditional BM stuff. With this said I must let you know that the other tracks also include interesting themes, symphonic and progressive, just like "Angel Succumb." "A Devils' Rhyme" is another fine example of this band's original style. I forgot to mention that this is Grievance's first full CD.

The production could have been better because there is a total lack of "punch". It's just too "loud". The drum sound is terrible, which is a shame really because I have a slight suspicion the Mr. Bordevik does a lot of cool stuff behind his drum kit. Let's hope that their next effort sounds better. Considering that the two members have played nearly everything themselves, they have done a good job! They were helped out by Pål Espen Johanssen (Synth) and Jesper Str?mblad (guitarplayer from In Flames). The CD sounds slightly unfinished, maybe they were in a hurry, maybe the songs needed that final finishing touch? The songs need to have more variation.

Their next creation will be an exciting experience, I'm sue of that. I'm not a great BM fan, but this CD may have been a turning point. Check it out and succumb to the power of Grievance. A band with a bright future.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Origin In Vain (4:59) / Angels Succumb (6:05) / Atrocity Upon Deceptions (6:56) / The Mask Of Sin (5:36) / A Devils' Rhyme (5:43) / Craving Path (6:20) / The Phantom Novels (2:11) / Bonus Tracks (JP version only - from the s/t ep): Enterance (2:12) / A Poisoned Icon (6:34) / Craving Path (5:47) / Scarlet Rain (4:09) -- TOTAL TIME W/BONUSES: 55:51)

Kenneth Finndahl - vocals, guitar, bass
Robert Bordevik - drums, guitar, synth, vocals


Anders Friden - vocals
Jesper Strömblad - guitar
Pål Espen Johanssen -Synth

Grievance (ep) (1998)
The Phantom Novels (1999)

Genre: Death-Black Metal

Origin NO

Added: December 18th 2004
Reviewer: Dylan
Artist website:
Hits: 2344
Language: english


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