June 19, 2016

Review - Grey Heaven Fall - Black Wisdom.

One of the joys that comes with reviewing music is from time to time you come across bands and music you may not have heard of as promptly were it not for the promotional email hitting your inbox. In today’s digital age, which also happens to be an age of relevant austerity, physical promo copies are few and far between but now and again I’ll be contacted by a label or band looking to send physical CD's or vinyl for review. It’s happened a few times so far and I’m extremely grateful to every label that has ever sent me any form of their music. This happened recently when Russian label Aesthetics of Devastation got in touch to see if they could send me their most recent release, “Black Wisdom” by Grey Heaven Fall who come from the Podolsk region of Moscow.

Aesthetics of Devastation was established in 2013 and released their first music in the form of a split featuring Twilight is Mine, also a Russian band, and Grey Heaven Fall in the same year. Their only other release since then was last October (2015) when they released this album, ‘Black Wisdom’ by Grey Heaven Fall.

Grey Heaven Fall has been active since 2006 and the previously mentioned split with Twilight is Mine was their third release, being preceded by two demos in 2007 and 2008 and followed by their self-titled debut full length, released in 2011. Grey Heaven Fall list dark philosophy, death, abomination and Satanism as sources of lyrical inspiration for their music which is most definitely Black Metal, though it’s laced with elements of many other types of music, but we’ll come to that in a bit. The artwork for Black Wisdom is the creation of Italian artist Sergio Padovani.

Black Wisdom features six tracks which span over fifty minutes between them, two of which last over eleven minutes each. The album starts very strongly with ‘The Lord is Blissful in Grief’ which serves as a good introduction to the band. It’s very solid Black Metal as are all of the Black Metal tracks/passages during the album – at times you can hear elements similar to the likes of Deathspell Omega with the vocal and tempo at times reminding me of MGLA. However, as said, there’s a lot more to Grey Heaven Fall than Black Metal and it’s when the second track, ‘Spirit of Oppression,’ kicked in that my attention was well and truly grabbed. There’s quite a lot of variation in style and sound during this album and during the longer tracks this becomes really apparent. ‘Spirit of Oppression’ is the second longest track from the album and with well over eleven minutes to play with Grey Heaven Fall waste no time in showing us they’re not afraid to experiment and mix things up a little with an extremely varied and rich sound. This track starts where the previous finished off, with a high tempo, but around the four minute mark they drop this down a few gears to a much slower section featuring some fantastic clean lead guitar with a few sublime solos thrown in before gradually reverting to that initial tempo with some more Black Metal and exceptional vocals from Arsagor. Atmospherics play a vital role during the duration the album and Grey Heaven Fall seem quite adept at creating them, a feat many bands struggle with. They use breaks in tempo and tracks such as the instrumental ‘Sanctuary of Cut Tongues’ to set the scene for their music, again showing they’re not reliant on Black Metal alone for the creation of their art.

Another track that couldn’t go without being mentioned is the closer, ‘That Nail in a Heart,’ it’s the other eleven minute track and what a seriously good way it is to finish the album. As with ‘Spirit of Oppression’ there’s a lot going on with a number of styles and sounds at play. A harsh start as we’re faced with another strong dose of their high tempo Black Metal but again after the four minute mark this breaks into a cleaner, quieter section again featuring some seriously good solos, solos that show both progressive and mellow tendencies but sit perfectly in the framework of their music. As a final track this is excellent, it showcases a lot of the varied sounds heard during the album and creates a perfectly chilled and melancholic conclusion. There’s a lot to be heard during this album and Grey Heaven Fall keep the pace and sound extremely varied throughout – there’s no doubt Black Metal is at the centre of all they do but there’s so much more going on to keep things varied and interesting. It’s not often I’ll review an album that’s been out as long as this but with a standard of music this high I just couldn’t ignore it. Aesthetics of Devastation, I salute you for sending me this and I hope it achieves the recognition it deserves.

Grey Heaven Fall has achieved a lot with this album – some exceptional Black Metal with many varied elements at play throughout,



01 – The Lord is Blissful in Grief
02 – Spirit of Oppression
03 – To the Doomed Sons of Earth
04 - Sanctuary of Cut Tongues
05 - Tranquillity of the Possessed
06 – That Nail in a Heart.

Further information can be found at the following links:

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