The Australian metal scene is somehow outstanding. With Ulcerate (as I may count New Zealand to Australia) it is the origin of the new genre post-death metal. And as bands like Beyond Terror, Beyond Grace or Departé served a similar mixture of post-rock, dense atmosphere and harsh extreme metal, the forward-thinking, progressive output of this country is really impressive. A new player - at least for me - to this original contemporary movement is Greytomb. Although they are active under that name since 2015, releasing an album last year already, “Monumental Microcosm” is my first contact to the band. But with its intense blend of several extreme styles, I felt in love immediately.
“Null” is an awesome start into the EP. This song takes it’s time to build up atmosphere. Starting slowly, building tension. Soon it shows awesome parallels to Departé or Ulcerate, mixing slightly dissonant harmonies and riffs with fast blasting beats; screams and growls exchange - and suddenly clean vocals set in as well. Maybe a little bit theatrical but still a wonderful aspect in this progressive track, that later adds minimalist, repetitive nihilism and slow doom into its versatile blend.
This clean vocals are an important part in Greytombs music and find usage in some really well selected moments. In “Antimeta” they complement a more calm part that is set within two more black metal-like moments. And in “Force Majeure” the clean singing helps to build the climax at the end of the song. This wide range of vocal variation adds a very own profile to Greytomb.
As there are more progressive song-structures and forward-thinking harmonies on the one hand, there are notable references to traditional extreme music as well on “Monumental Microcosm”. There is a lot of black metal on this EP, minimalistic and repetitive. And maybe a more traditional approach on doom as well as the heavy ending of “Antimeta” might suggest.
So “Monumental Microcosm” shows both it’s roots in black and doom metal as well as Greytombs vision on contemporary and progressive extreme music. It has a wide dynamical range, from calm and dreamy moments to furious and angry eruptions. But always maintains a dense atmosphere. It is an awesome EP. And I’m really looking forward to see how both Greytomb and this stylistic movement from Australia develop in future.