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On disc: Grimmark

- Grimmark - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(Rivel Records - 2007)

Some might think Grimmark are some dark metal band or present even more extreme music, but that's wrong! Carl Johan Grimmark founded Narnia with singer Christian 'Rivel' Liljegren - a Christian metal band. But Mr. Grimmark also plays with Saviour Machine and Rob Rock which shows that he's active in the Christian rock world. But that says more about his believe then his musical style. But everybody who knows Saviour Machine, Rob Rock and Narnia will have an idea what to get on Grimmark.
Rivel Records is the label of Narnia singer Christian Rivel and his long-time mate gave CJ the chance to present his first solo album. Perhaps a bit too short as it's shy of 40 minutes. The opening track is called Pray and starts off with some heavy riffing. A guitar-driven up-tempo tune with a modern sound, some keyboard lines in the back and up front the smooth voice of CJ himself. The drum pattern adds a progressive touch... For a short guitar solo everything has to retreat to give Grimmark's guitar space. Btw, on drums you hear Darkane's Peter Wildoer and on bass Jan S. Eckert (Masterplan, ex-Iron Savior, ex-Mydra). Cool track! With How Many Times has a hard rock feel, but the guitar is quite heavy... The chorus is catchy and has something Styx-ish.... With Hiding From The Sun he slows down a bit, but it's a mid-tempo rocker. It get really heavy with Free - including some fast double bass drumming. Pounding bass riffs and sharp guitar riffs drive this one while the vocals have a slight Faith No More-touch here and there... A sharp contrast to the chorus. The lead guitar seems to flow on top of it all.... On Resurrection the riffing is almost NU metal-like and some symphonic keyboard parts take off the edge. Lyrically Mr. Grimmark talks about different topics of daily life... Judgementalism (Save Our Souls) as well as the theory of evolution (Monkey Man). Even if he touches some religious topics he never preaches. An instrumental tune is the last one you get and it's simply called The New Song. To be honest the instrumental isn't blowing me away. It shows the skills of the musicians, especially of CJ, but for me it seems a bit unfinished... Like there wasn't time to continue and writing lyrics... But perhaps I just got it wrong...
On his solo album Mr. Grimmark is heavier then on the bands / project he’s involved. And he will surprise you with a different sound and his vocal skills. The Swedish guitarist presents a heavy, guitar-driven album with big choruses and melodic vocal lines. And at some parts the arrangement add some progressiveness. A good album, but for me it lacks a real highlight... Something which sticks out. But well, this is his first solo work and I guess we will hear more of CJ Grimmark in future - not just with Rob Rock, Narnia, etc.!
Check out: Resurrection, Pray and How Many Times.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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