Originally this Swedish outfit was formed in the 80s by a bunch of very young metal heads wanting to hack chunks out of the extreme metal scene with their own version of sonic annihilation but like a lot of acts back then things halted pretty quickly and the band folded only to resurface in 2014 with two original guys, Heval Bozarslan and guitarist Jimmy Eriksson, from which an EP appeared, titled “Taritiya Me”. Jimmy left soon after bringing us up to date with a line-up now consisting of David Eriksson (guitars), Hasse Hansson (guitars), Daniel Ekeroth (bass) and Alvaro Svanerö (drums) that brings us this unholy debut assault on the extreme metal masses.
One thing that strikes you about this release before even playing it is the cover art which whilst having a primitive style conveys an archaic blasphemic style that you used to see a few decades ago and will certainly look cool when adorned on their shirts in glorious colour. Whilst designated as black metal, primarily due to the rawness of the sound, the band’s song writing touches base on a multitude of genres and therein lies its appeal as it blasts into acerbic life with “Prima Mobilae”. That caustic rawness is ingrained in the guitar tone which creates a bleakness that underpins most of the songs yet underneath is an utterly pulverising rhythm section, especially the drum work by Alvaro which is staggeringly effective throughout as his double bass incursions on the opener produce a heaviness that is oppressively dense.
“As The Stars Watched The Birth Of Eternity” continues the unmitigated terror with a blasting sortie before delving into a short-lived lead break. There are places where this album reminded me of Marduk’s all-out dementedness but also with the deathly angle there is more than a snippet of acts like Necrowretch and possibly Degial due to the barbarity of the tracks. Much slower and melancholy is “The Third Thought From The Sun” it has a despondent funereal atmosphere creating a doom like assembly with tortured vocal emanations that have that slight distance as though in a vast room, but as the song develops you can sense the tension intensifying with each passing second as a colossal speed surge detonates, which is brilliant.
Equally impressive is the eight minute excellence of “Forgotten Deity” with its opening acoustic strains having a sombre inflection and dramatic character before relinquishing for an isolated guitar riff that is joined by the rest of the instrumentation. Again the drama is superb as the songs tempo is shifted, something this album does tremendously well and with devastating efficiency, as the song diverts into a double bass cannonade. I absolutely love bands that pay attention to everything in their song writing and Third Storm do as the song drops into a slow desolate phase where another isolated guitar threads in with the drum and cymbal work texturizing it before the abrupt blasting return.
The album closes with a ravaging black thrasher “In Wrath Enshrouded” a song whilst here in the 21st century reeks of three decades ago with its rampaging speed that song hurtles along incessantly with only a riff break and cymbal smash section interrupting, which I am a total sucker for I admit. Whether you consider this an old band that has reformed or not one thing is absolutely certain “The Grand Manifestation” is an exceedingly well executed album of extreme metal obliteration which is also the first part of a trilogy of albums of which this is the first part of the concept you can read about in the lyrics when you buy it.
(8.5/10 Martin Harris)