Grunt – Seer of Decay


Whoa, this is the power electronics release of 2006 and the best Grunt release I’ve ever heard. This puppy is a double CD that comes with a 50 page black and white booklet (the pages are numbered just in case the non-believers start to raise eyebrows). The artwork is very typical Grunt style design, gritty industrialscapes, cut’n’paste high contrast collage work, and of course the questionable photograph or 2. Overall it looks great and adds a lot to the entire concept of the release. It also includes lyrics that I will get to later.

Supposedly this is the first Grunt disc that’s not just a compilation of material from a certain time frame. The disc was carefully planned out and it shows. The first chunk of tracks are named “Dog in the Leash Pt. 1-5” and begin with an ambient synth loop (quite soft for Grunt) and some distorted clanging sheet metal which sounds absolutely great. Right off you can hear the excellence of the production with very punchy low end, clear searing highs, and mids that don’t muddy anything up. Every track has it’s own feel here even the first five with similar titles, though the sounds in the first track do come back a few times.

The lyrics are great, simple even punk influenced it seems. They are written in broken English, which follows the traditional European PE style. Instead of going on trying to describe them, I’m just going to transcribe the first track here:

There comes the time of decision
Moment of choosing one of the options
Chance to ignore, or
Last chance to contribute for change into
Your direction.

Genocide what blind can’t see –
Genocide under the veil of media domination.

No more weakness disguised as indifference
No more barking like dog in the leash

It’s about priorities.
It’s about seeing the world without the blindfolds,
And doing what has to be done.
Your life under the guillotine –
Their priority seeing you fail.

This may come across as somewhat obvious in places, depending on your outlook but I think in the simplicity there’s something just very raw about it that can’t be ignored.

There are so many great tracks on this it would be futile to write about all the great things but some of my standout tracks are “Dog in the Leash Pt. 1 & 2” the first sounds just hit so hard and clear and the second which is ups the ante with an all-out aural assault. Also “Dog on the Leash Pt. 5” the track that has the aforementioned lyrics because of the excellent scrap metal rhythms and scathing vocals. “Patriot Stamina” is also an excellent track that starts out with what comes across as a cheesy modulating synth sound and by 3 seconds into the piece is transformed into a no-holds-barred pulsating power electronics track complete with more gruff vocals and singing feedback. The interesting thing is that towards the end the track becomes more “psychedelic” where slowly throbbing synth tones morph until finally merging into the feedback and when the album comes to a close it is actually the silence that’s left in its wake which is truly painful.

Perhaps that’s why Grunt has included an extra disc of intense walls harsh noise. I’m not really into disc B as much, which features several long tracks that have nothing but extremely active and distorted scrap metal at their core. There’s not really much to say about it besides it’s long and loud. This is probably most reminiscent of harsh noise acts like Incapacitants or The New Blockaders. I personally would have liked to hear more of the material that was featured on Disc A but it’s not a big deal I just consider disc B to be more like “bonus material” rather then anything else. This is unquestionably worth the price for disc A alone and if you are a harsh head then you will not be let down with disc B either.

Grunt has fashioned a tour de force of harsh electronics and an album that I would consider mandatory for any fan of power electronics or noise. No one can ignore the force of the Finnish noise scene rising in the East so I would suggest, stay on your guard.

This review was stolen from here and here is an audio interview with Mikko.

CD 1

01 – Dog in the Leash Pt.1
02 – Dog in the Leash Pt.2
03 – Dog in the Leash Pt.3
04 – Dog in the Leash Pt.4
05 – Dog in the Leash Pt.5
06 – Collision of the Unwanted
07 – Unforgiven Sin
08 – Seer of Decay
09 – Gutter
10 – Patriot Stamina
11 – Electrified Steel

CD 2

01 – Pripyat
02 – Ghost Factory
03 – Final Installation of Blood and Steel
04 – Recycled Ironworks

Seer of Decay CD 1
Seer of Decay CD 2

~ by heavyelectronics on March 27, 2009.

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