Review: Gloson’s Grimen (& Also Some Complaining)

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If I told you what genre this album is, would you still click me?

Post-metal gets a bad wrap. Sure, bad post-metal has a tendency to drone on and on before anything happens, or maybe nothing happens at all, but I could say the same thing about a mediocre black metal band that just tremolos and blasts for 30 minutes with little variation. While that band will be ignored for being boring, they are not ignored just because of the the genre namedrop. Sure, there are a LOT of bad post-metal bands, but that shouldn’t make us ignore the good ones. Every genre has its boring copycats, but it has gotten to the point where even the post-metal bands and promoters acknowledge this genre bias.

The most recent example I have seen is in the promo materials for Gloson’s Grimen. Over on their Art of Propaganda Bandcamp page (who I assume wrote this up) they say “Although post-metal might be a very millennial creation, with peaks and valleys of creativity across an expansive spectrum […] newcomers can still offer new twists on an oft-tired subgenre” and “‘post-metal’ is merely a springboard for bolder, more daring excursions into the beyond.” Now I’m not picking on AoP; compared to most promo materials I read, these guys deserve a Nobel. They just happen to be the most recent pushers of “yeah, it’s post-metal, but give it a shot anyway” rhetoric. I don’t think they should have to do this, especially when it is VERY GOOD post-metal.

I’m also not saying that the people who do this apologizing are wrong; in fact, it’s quite an effective rhetorical device to get someone to try something they might not ordinarily be interested in. I don’t have the stomach to go back and reread my old articles, but I’m sure I have done this before. Something along the lines of “sure, it’s djent, but it’s really good djent!” probably came out of my mouth at some point.

The rhetorical device should be used for those rare instances in which you’re trying to get someone to listen to something that is WAY outside their comfort zone. Such as “hey, I know you only listen to artists that start with Toby and end with Keith and you’re not into metal, but trust me, this is different”. It shouldn’t be used on a metal band that is primarily targeting metalheads because it is slightly out of step with what’s hip. So who am I blaming then? Well, the democracy I guess. As a consumer, I like genre labels because they help filter out some stuff I’m probably not going to like, but with a high enough recommendation, I’ll try anything.

Shit. I got so worked up that I forgot to review the album.Gloson Grimen

I have three main criteria that I use to judge post-metal. Every song needs to be distinct, the building sections can’t be boring (even if the payoff is good), and the hooks must be engaging (with at least a few that are hair-raising). Gloson achieves every one of these on this album; however, not every song does. Since this is their first full length, I sense some exploring and growth still happening.

The first half of them album is hit and miss throughout the lengthy songs, with “Antlers” standing out to me as being the most unique with it’s slow and punishing first half and an gloomy/melodic back half.

They really step up their game with “Cringe”, which is surprisingly cathartic compared to the doominess of the rest of the album. It’s a little repetitive, as post-metal tends to be, but the groove just feels too good for it to matter. You don’t need the typical post-metal patience since the whole thing is engaging, but the ending is a perfect billowing progression from the main riff.

“Embodiment” is a perfect example of their song building abilities. While most of their material is pretty distinct from the major post-metal players, this song sounds like it was taken from the Cult of Luna handbook in the best way. When the sinister growls kick in after an eight-minute shapeshifting groove, the energy just surges through your veins.

These Swedes do not need to apologize for being post-metal. They are on the “I like this a lot” side of the 3.5/5 Toilet Spectrum.

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Grimen will be released on February 13 via Art of Propaganda.

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  • Sid Vicious Promos

    I’ll have to give this a listen. I usually don’t like post metal but after reading this article I’m interested.

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    UNBLACK NEOSATANIC HAIR METAL OR GTFO

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    I’ve never really enjoyed the title “post-” anything but I’ve enjoyed a decent amount of bands labeled as such. Will try to check this one out

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      I LOOK FORWARD TO POST-TRUMP/PENCE

      • Joaquin Stick

        We already have a name for that: Post Apocalyptic.

      • post-capitalism gonna be lit

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Alt-post

    • Old Man Doom

      LEAVE THE – wait, does post-metal have a “hall” equivalent? Umm… leave the amp room I guess…

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Leave the soundscape!

        It’s not that I don’t like the genre, I just don’t like the term very much.

        • Old Man Doom

          Yeah, even I have to admit that like 85% of post-metal just turns me off completely.

  • Eliza

    I like this. When the album drops, maybe I’ll actually pay attention to it, rather that just having it as background noise as I do with most post-metal/rock.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      That’s why I’ve never gotten into post-whatever, I keep thinking GET ON WITH IT

  • Black Smallbeard

    whats wrong with 30 minutes of tremolos and blasting??

    • Eliza

      Nothing. Of course, at one point maybe you’ll want something a little bit different, but if 30 mintues of just tremolos and blasts does it for you, then that’s ok.

    • Sir Kookaburra The Based

      The fact that it’s not 40 minutes of tremolos and blasting?

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Winner. Have a pull.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      The lack of “several minutes of nonsense animal screams and fucking noises”?

      • Black Smallbeard

        thats exactly why i listen to Carpathian Forest

        • CyberneticOrganism

          *saxophone solo*

  • Old Man Doom

    As a fan of post-metal, I appreciate your sentiments here, Stick. I just really like it when post-metal bands have something to say rather than just a lethargic sense of movement or emotional “heaviness.” That is why CoL’s Vertikal stands out in my mind as the crowning achievement of the post-metal legacy: it blends a powerful message with thematic motifs that make me feel oppressed by the vertical lines and vulgar angles of the city instead of a generic “heavy.”

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    I appreciate the sentiments regarding the “post” tag, Joakim, but this isn’t speaking to me on tongues dormant. It does kinda sound intriguing though so I reckon I might be returning here later.

    • Joaquin Stick

      It’s not amazing, but certainly above average. Great for a debut LP. If you remember to listen when it comes out, be sure to check out Embodiment.

      • While this falls on the bland side for me, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the debate with which you framed this excellent review. The letter grade system is archaic and cruel, so I shall award you two rainbows, one red balloon and half a four-leaf-clover.

        • Joaquin Stick

          Fuck yeah! Stickers!

  • Óðinn

    Post-Metal, Byah!

    https://youtu.be/mC3KRi0ROhA

  • Morgondagen

    Don’t mean to sound like the typical ultimate fan-girl, but dude! I don’t believe one can actually find arguements good enough to write a bad review about Gloson 🙂 Tbh, I’m not the biggest post-metal fan, but their stuff is just so engaging (as Joaquin said). The atmosphere of their songs is just out of this world to me. I wouldn’t say it’s music that anyone can understand, but if it’s your kind of music you’ll know what I mean. And it’s definitely not the typical post-metal band. Just check them out 😀

    • Joaquin Stick

      It’s good stuff! Welcome to the Toilet!

      • Morgondagen

        Thank you 🙂

        • CyberneticOrganism

          Toilet Ov Respectful Yet Passionate Opinions

    • Óðinn

      Welcome to the Toilet. Listening to Gloson right now.

  • Waynecro

    Excellent review, JS. Most of the post-metal I enjoy is very melodic–probably because I’m a big fan of melodeath. Boring, droning jams become very interesting and appealing to me when they employ strong melodies (bonus points for dual-guitar harmonies). Gloson sounds OK, but the band’s songs seem to lack the catchy melodies that would keep me interested. Perhaps Gloson is just too doom for my Zune.

    • Óðinn

      Random Melodeath track, Waynecro.

      https://youtu.be/ZpbpOgUybBM

      • Waynecro

        THAT IS MY JAM, BRO!!!

        • Óðinn

          Fucking great song.

          • Waynecro

            That album changed my life. When I first heard Heartwork, I played it so often that all my friends got sick of hearing it.

          • Óðinn

            You did them a favor, Waynecro. I’m sure they know that now.

          • Waynecro

            I would hope so, but I may never know. I haven’t talked to any of those dudes in more than a decade.