I is the debut album from English group Grey Widow. The group was formed by members of other bands such as Dopefight, Parole, Thread and The Ergon Carousel and as such is seriously heavy. The album has an oppressive sound with snarling bass and anguished vocals with a distinct sludge metal style mixed with black and doom metal. Each track has a strong feeling of Despair and anger punctuating everything from the vocals to the drums and there is a somewhat distorted sound also in the mix which adds to the malicious atmosphere that permeates the album. The album gets more aggressive the further you progress with vi being a highlight and viii sounding like the onset of hell. Overall the album has an old school approach in that it sets out its theme and expands on it impressively but also manages to keep it minimalist, there is no filler here, no track to simply bulk up the numbers. What is here is dark, nasty, uncompromising, seething with rage and it wants to smash your head in. Fans of doom, sludge or just good metal in general will find plenty to love here and many may find their new favourite band. An excellent listen.
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Wild Years of Remorse and Failures is a reissue of two albums by Stroszek. It incorporates the albums ‘Songs of Remorse’ and ‘Life Failures Made Music’ as well as the ‘Wild Hunt’ EP and two cover songs. The albums were originally released between 2007-2009 and were notoriously difficult to obtain hence the re-release. Both albums have been remastered and the ‘Songs of Remorse’ album has had all its vocals re-recorded. The musical style is an acoustic folk combination mixed with dark rock. Clean vocals on the tracks immediately set Stroszek apart from most groups in the dark rock genre as well as the use of acoustic guitars. The first album ‘Remorse’ has a strong folk band or country music feel with acoustics and gentle drums punctuated with the occasional burst of electric guitars and heavier drum beats merging with the melancholic vocals. Stand out tracks on the first album include a cover version of Dick Curless’ ‘Bury the Bottle with Me’ ‘The Railroad Track’ and ‘Sand’. The second album ‘Failures’ has a heavier rock sound compared to ‘Remorse’ with a more oppressive theme of sadness and despair complemented with some dark metal style riffs and heavy drums reinforcing the theme of failure. It still retains the acoustic sound but it’s not as prevalent as it was in ‘Remorse’ with more songs employing electric guitars. Highlights for ‘Failures’ include another cover song, this time Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Tecumseh Valley’, whilst elsewhere ‘Land of Silence and Darkness’ and ‘Secret of the Earth‘ sound splendid. In Conclusion Wild Years of Remorse and Failures is a great album for those curious about Stroszek and long-time fans eager to hear how their old favourites sound remastered. It also provides an opportunity for those who missed out first time around to get their hands on a copy. It’s an extremely accomplished collection of two fine works (Personally ‘Remorse’ just wins in the better album contest) and on the evidence of this it isn’t difficult to see why it has been so difficult to get hold of.
C. (Vocals & Guitar), Davide (Bass), Richard (Drums).