GRENOUER is a Russian Metal band, formed in 1992. I got acquainted with their music back in 2008 when their sixth album, “Lifelong Days”, was released in 2008. I didn’t know what to expect, it was said the band played Industrial Metal now, previously having released Death Metal albums. In any case, “Lifelong Days” wasn’t something I liked. The album indeed had influences from MESHUGGAH, PANTERA, CLAWFINGER, KORN, DEFTONES, FEAR FACTORY and others, but the result was not as tastey, in my humble opinion. Maybe their Death Metal albums were better, but since I haven’t heard anything off those, I can’t say. I didn’t follow the band’s doings after that one review (see here), but it seems that a few years later, they changed style once more and made an EP called “Computer Crime”. This contains 6 tracks, off which one is a radio edit of another track, and was released on the 21st November 2011 via the UK label Copro Records.
A few months ago this year (2012) I got a request from vocalist Andrey Ind to review that EP. Nothing wrong with giving a band a second chance. I gave “Lifelong Days” another chance recently and I stand by what I wrote back in 2008. But a new release, a new point of view? “Computer Crime” lasts about 20 minutes, a little more with the radio edit of “See No Sun”. The line-up apparently also changed: bassist Slavij left and Igor Arbue replaced Rt as second guitarist. Producer Anssi Kippo recorded the bass and keyboards for this release.
It begins with “Last Stop”, where the groovy, distorted guitars cannot be denied. This is modern Metal, indeed. The vocals are clean and in English. However, Andrey has a bit of an accent, but it’s nothing problematic. Heavy verses go well with a more melodic chorus and the funky beat. Over halfway it’s all about the music, sounding a bit like TESSERACT and similar, flowing over into a clean, though rocking piece that connects with the chorus and so onwards to the end. All in all, a pretty good song and, in my opinion, better than the previous material. Groove, djent-like Metal is presented in “Rejected”. Clean vocals again, the way Andrey sings reminding me a bit of Jamiroquai (as strange as that may sound). The song is a midtempo rocker, though with a melodic, modern Metal chorus. The focus lies on the grooving guitars, and while Andrey’s clean vocals contrast with them, they go well together.
“See No Sun” is a ballad and it’s got drum samples (or that’s an electronic kit). Whatever the source, it doesn’t sound good. There are better samples for a song like this. And Andrey’s singing also isn’t exactly exciting. Over halfway, and that’s strange somehow, you get grooving Metal with growling. Ok, this intervention is good, as it breaks the bad Poppy stuff, but then that music returns. There might be a lyrical reason for this disruption, but the contrast is too big and it just doesn’t go well with the accessible ballad music. Where’s that delete button? Luckily “Fix your Life” brings salvation with energetic Rock and (again) a funky rhythm. The chorus is once again given a melodic injection. However, when the Rock/Metal prevails, you could compare it to JAMES LABRIE’s latest solo album, “Static Impulse” (2010). The guitar solo was set in the last 30 seconds. All in all, a decent song.
“Golden Years” is the last track on the EP, save the radio edit of “See No Sun”. It’s got electronic drumming and the acoustic guitar as main ingredients. The vocals sound a bit lame, I’m sorry to say. As the songs progresses, atmospheric sounds are added in the back, adding to the Poppishness of it all. In se, not a bad song at all, but from a Rock/Metal point of view: no, thanks.
On one hand it’s good GRENOUER don’t stick to one genre when making music, judging by their past (Death Metal), what I heard (Industrial Metal, or so it was marketed) and how the band sounds nowadays (modern Rock/Metal). On the other hand, it also shows the guys don’t know yet what suits them best. Still, based on the releases themselves and specifically “Computer Crime”, I can say this works quite well for them. The music is more accessible, but still has a good slab of Metal. For me, the more Metal tracks stood out. The other two are too different from those 3, although a ballad, when well-written/composed, isn’t usually unsuited on a Metal release. “Computer Crime” is all in all a decent release.
- Last Stop
- See No Sun
- Fix Your Life
- Golden Years
- See No Sun (edit)
Andrey Ind – vocals
Alexander Motor – guitar
Igor Arbue – guitar
Michael Coroner – drums
Anssi Kippo (guest) – bass, keyboards