|Grimmstine – ‘Self Titled’ (Metal Heaven)|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Saturday, 24 October 2009 14:15|
The album sleeve of this debut release from ex Grim Reaper/Onslaught singer Steve Grimmett and Dozer guitarist Steve Stine (Grimmstine, geddit?) bears a lone forearm rising from a molten metal pit holding aloft the collective flags of the UK and US. This image alone should be enough to tell you that these guys mean fucking business, and their business is to play some of the most dynamic heavy metal you'll find in 2009.
Add in the rhythm section of Dave Johnson on drums and Hat on bass from US metallers Sons of Poseidon and you have the perfect thunder to accompany Steve Grimmet's hurricane of a voice. Lead track '911' (after a gentle acoustic intro known as 'Memory') sets the pace with some frantic riffing and just like the phone number is instantly memorable. Grimmstine's sound draws on what most would define as traditional metal, and there are subtle nods to the likes of Metallica on the intro riff to 'Got Nothing But Time' and the quasi classical 'Straight As An Arrow' did have me thinking of the more immediate end of Dream Theatre's sprawling back catalogue.
It's on tracks like 'It's Over' and 'Take This Air' that Steve gets to fully let rip those soaring vocals and take this band to another level, and on the sub Dokken riffage of 'Afraid Of The Dark' his omnipresence adds a deeper darker quality to proceedings. Admittedly, there are bits on Grimmstine's debut where you can go, oh that's Saxon or that's Dio, but this is Heavy Metal for fuck's sake - it's never going to be 100% original. I mean, who is these days?
At fifteen tracks (+1 extra if you get the Digi Pack version) this album may be considered slightly overlong and surely would have been two albums worth of material back in the days of Grim Reaper. But who am I to complain when the material is this strong?
Grimmstine has already been available in Japan for some time (Steve is still something of a Heavy Metal legend there), and the European release of this album is finally seeing the light of day via Metal Heaven at the end of October 2009.
So, if you like your metal heavy, and your heroes made of sterner stuff, then get along to your local record shop (they do still exist, or so I'm told), slam your studded wrist banded fist on their counter and demand to get some Grimmstine.