The Grotesquery is one of my ‘secret bands’. Not too many of my mates have heard of them and yet this band have produced some of the finest horror concept death metal albums that you’ll ever hear. It’s odd that the band aren’t more well-known seeing as they feature the awesome vocal talents of Kam Lee (Massacre / Death / Denial Fiend & the well underrated Bone Gnawer) and the mighty death metal riff machine that is Rogga Johansson (Rib Spreader / Bone Gnawer & just about every band in the universe).
Their death metal take on the ‘horror concept album’ might make you think they’re gonna sound a bit ‘Lidl Diamond’ (or ‘King Aldi ‘ if you prefer) but NO! These fellas produced a trilogy of Lovecraftian themed albums – The ‘Coffin Born’ trilogy with “Tales Of The Coffin Born”, “The Facts And Terrifying Testament Of Mason Hamilton: Tsathoggua Tales” and what everyone thought would be the bands final album, in fact I’m sure Kam himself said it at the time, “Curse Of The Skinless Bride”. Still…..you can’t keep a horror nerd death metal legend down and so here we are three years later with “The Lupine Anathema” which may well be the beginning of a new trilogy of albums “The Werewolf Chronicles”.
“Under the Curse of the Full Moon” starts off with the howling of wolves before Rogga’s groove drenched riffs emanate from the speakers. I’ve said it before….. how does he do it? He’s in a bazillion bands and has 400 albums released a month. The bloke is a machine! Kam’s vocals bust in and, well…..it’s Kam fuckin Lee ain’t it? Multi layered and menacing, the bloke just gets better with age and by “better” I mean “scarier”. This is a cracking mid paced death metal song and the band sound super tight.
“By Feral Ways” starts with a fantastic Swedeath riff and a roar from Kam before getting into some serious vertebra bothering chug. You’ll be banging your head to Rogga’s riffing on this one, I guarantee it. As you will on every one of the ten tracks on offer here.
Like on their previous albums (but less so here) The Grotesquery have used some spoken word parts between tracks which are super effective in helping to build atmosphere and progress the story.
I would say this is probably their most atmospheric album and the storyline is a bit easier to follow than their previous trilogy, but even ignoring the concept you’ve got ten fat as fuck, groovy as hell old school death metal tracks here that are definitely gonna put a grin on your face.
As much as Rogga & Kam’s performances are on point a shout outs must be given to drummer Brynjar Helgetun & Johan Berglund on bass. The bottom end is fat as you like and really underpins every savage riff Rogga is wringing from his guitar.
This is a cracking album and a fitting fourth chapter of The Grotesquery.
(8.5/10 Mark Eve)