Asgrauw – Gronspech

[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]

This Dutch horde took shape about nine years ago and during that time has delivered three full-lengths. They became a member of the Hidden Marly Production (Japan), an uncompromising label releasing brutal and obscure extreme metal (Malkherbe, Beyond Ye Grave, Besatt Adversam, bands that I know of…). The vinyl version has been released by Heidens Hart and Void Wanderer Productions.

At equal distance from Sammath, Funeral Winds or the newcomers Fluisteraas, the new album from Asgrauw expresses an artistic self-confidence and perhaps traces a new sense of identity in the Dutch Black Metal scene and beyond. Obviously they go back in time to reinterpret the first evocations in the nordic scene (Setherial, Tsjuder, Dark Funeral) by exposing their deepest feelings in this angry, bleak opus.

Gronspech is furibund in every aspect, and doesn’t fail in keeping the listener in a state of immersive continuous reaction. The ebullient, feverish and excessively brutal compositions are always intimate and pristine, enshrouded in a dense cloud of hypersensitivity that could harm frail natures. Their songwriting blends haunting and compulsive bleak and furious riffs with luminous surprisingly emotional melody. You should expect a classic Black Metal record standing above styles and time, an unforgettable expression of deep unrefrained feelings.

The title stands for the old name of the town where the band is presently located, Groesbeek. Thus, Gronspech is thematically a collection of varied local legends or historical stories. We should take a trip there to find again the original bite of Black Metal. Here still ignites the sparkle of early crude extreme metal that unleashes forces beyond its control.

Hidden Marly Production, HMP 051 (CD); Heidens Hart, HH146 & Void Wanderer Productions, VWP003 (LP)
CD/MC/Digital 2019

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