Grief of Emerald
~reviewed by Eric Rasmussen
Whoa! Check out that awesome cover with burning skeletal masturbating nuns! And the CD is called CHRISTIAN TERMINATION! You know it's gotta be good.
In fact, I almost don't need to write this review, because the cover is a perfect representation of the album. And if you're turned off by it for any reason, as I was for its generic cheesyness and amusing attempt at being offensive, then you have no reason to pay attention to Grief of Emerald. Sometimes you can't judge a book by its cover, but often times you can make a decent guess about a death metal album by its terrible artwork.
Grief of Emerald plays your run of the mill brutal death metal, with just a hint of a Dimmu Borgir symphonic black metal feel. The songs are played almost entirely at non-stop fast tempos, creating a rather droning affair that I find best suited for use as a sleeping aid. The ever present speed and harshness ultimately has the opposite effect of what is intended. While Christian Termination is designed to kick your ass, I find that no matter how much of my mental focus I'm applying to it while listening, it just becomes glorified background music. On a song by song basis it's decent, if very generic death metal with lackluster keyboards. Also - hearing it a track or two at a time can be fairly intense. But is there anyone out there who still feels the intensity after the first 20 minutes? Even the harshest aural assault becomes humdrum after a time, and in the case of Grief of Emerald, metal fans have all heard this routine many times before.
I do find it amusing that Grief of Emerald passed on the standard black metal aliases like Grohnok, Thor, or BlackenedMan, and instead used their first names exclusively. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm inclined to believe that warriors named Horgh or Ihsahn are going to come kick my ass if I provoke them. Somehow, I'm less worried about Robert and Jimmy.
If there's still a soft spot in your heart for aimless Christian bashing and masturbating nuns that may or may not be on fire, hey. It's your choice. Personally, I have heard more than enough blast beat oriented extreme metal CDs with simple orchestral arrangements. Grief of Emerald doesn't do anything to distinguish themselves from the abundance of groups who still think playing this style is cool.
That being said, everything here is played adroitly enough for what it is, and the songs can be reasonably enjoyable metal listens if you hear them individually and isolated from the rest. There is the rare slow moment or change in tempo on Christian Termination, but the slower bits tend to sound a lot like Dimmu Borgir's dullest "creepy" moments. If you're interested in imaginative music with lasting appeal and some kind of real purpose, you won't find it here. But if you're looking for another metal-for-metal's sake album to pass the time, then you could do much worse than listen to Grief of Emerald.
Grief of Emerald is:
Grief of Emerald - Official Site:
The End Records (US Distribution):