LEVIATHAN & GRIMBERGEN: OF REVISIONISM AND RELINQUISHMENT
MCD: Monkeyhouse Recordings Monk006 [2004]


Leviathan:
The Stormwind's Return
As The Bells Die (revisiting the clocktower)
The Unattainable Object (leviathan's all hope is lost mix)

Grimbergen:
Entering the Painfields (grimbergen remix)
Exit Release
Is This The Place?

There comes a time when a person has to admit that maybe, just maybe, they may have been too harsh to cast judgement on a fellow man. That time has arrived for me. I admit, in fact I was quite proud, to slag off the previous demos that I had been sent and forced to listen to by the artist Grimbergen. The music of Grimboy, as I renamed him, was so pretentious and dull that having my bollocks stapled to a table was a more worthwhile alternative than having to sit through any more of his shit. Alas I now reluctantly have to, for the moment anyway, give Grimboy his due and say that the tracks he’s contributed to this split CD are not bad. Oh…ok then…pretty fucking good. But I’m stating this through gritted teeth. I’ll come back to massaging the ego of Grimboy later after discussing the, at first only reason, I would have touched this recording in the first place. Leviathan is the name.

One of the great unknown and unsung new artists, with a suitably daft name, whose recordings on the Monkeyhouse label have helped redefine the black ambient genre. I bullshit you not. Gaendaal (see what I mean about the name) over the last few years has put out the classics "The Throne of Bones", "Shrouded by Fog" and "Machinery of Hell" to rave reviews. From myself included. This guy is something special. Of the two original tracks he contributes here (the third being a rewrite of a Grimboy track), he explores once more the dark depths of sonic bleakness encapsulated in his own unique sound. The lush waves of dense foreboding sound that permeates throughout are occasionally broken up as fragments of a melancholy melody tries to break free through into the light before being surrounded and crushed underfoot by the oppressive darkness. Although fairly impressive stuff…but then again I didn’t expect otherwise from this artist whose earlier work you really should have in your collection…the sound is not the best clarity wise. The clean cut swathes usually associated with his work is slightly subdued and muggy in comparison and in places the pieces have a rushed feel about them.

Grimboy on the other hand was a bolt from the blue. Gone was the airy fairy man of old to be replaced by someone who has fully turned to the dark side. I don’t know if working with Gaendaal was the spur he needed to explore a different musical path or if some of Gaendaals magic accidentally rubbed off onto him but ‘fuck me’ if he hasn’t released three corking tracks of black ambient with a similar feel to Leviathan. If anything separates the artists its Grimboy’s way of being slightly less bleak in outlook with a more redemptive feel to the music. No pits of despair to be lost in here. No lost souls wandering a lonely path. At the same time it’s no happy camper picnic either. The music is a midway point between Heaven and Hell, neither falling one way or the other, and is a more distinctive, albeit simpler, approach that works so well within the context of his music. Take a pat on the back with these tracks Grimboy. You’ve proved me wrong…for once.

If you’ve never heard any of Leviathan’s output then this split CD will act as a suitable, though not the best, introduction to his music...his previous recordings are a lot meatier as he’s sharing the stage with no-one. It still manages to comes whole heartedly recommended. Nuff said.

ANM

[Monkeyhouse]

Direct Link: http://www.auralpressure.com/reviewl/leviathan_grimbergen.html