Written by Espi Kvlt
Grohot – Creatio ex Nihilo
Black Metal from Bacău, Romania
Released on February 27, 2021
This first effort from black metal band Grohot is certainly enough to get my attention. I listen to a lot of black metal day in and day out, but my interest was immediately piqued when I saw they’re from Romania. A band from the home of vampires? Surely this will be great! While it didn’t necessarily meet my high expectations, it is a solid record, and I believe with time Grohot has the potential to polish up their sound and become great.
The album immediately drew me in with beautiful guitar picking on the first song, “Il Separatio,” which led into beautifully produced sounds emitting from the drums. However, I must admit that I was instantly taken out of the immersion I had been gently led into when the vocals came in. They did grow on me the more I listened to the album, but they are so oppressive and mixed so loudly that it’s difficult to pay attention to anything else. Which is a shame because the riffs on this album are wonderful.
The riffs on “Djin” in particular were a treat, and I have to say again, that was especially true when there were no vocals overpowering them. The only track where it really didn’t bother me at all was “Noaptea Moroiului,” which again opens with beautiful guitar picking that builds into the full song. The vocals on this song fit with the music much better and didn’t feel so overpowering. If they were like this on every song this album would’ve gotten a better score from me. The final song, “Negru Voievod,” was where I was the most frustrated. Fantastic riffs played in the background but unfortunately, I couldn’t focus on them because of the vocals, making what had the potential to be a great song into my least favorite on the record.
The instrumentation here is interesting if a little stale when sitting through it. After a while it does start to feel same-y and could do with more breaks like the guitar picking in two of the songs’ intros. However, even with that sameness, it is a good sameness that I thoroughly enjoyed. A little more polish, some better vocal mixing, and a bit of experimentation, and Grohot could potentially reach great heights with their next effort.
I wouldn’t necessarily be reaching out for this album the next time I want something to listen to, but I will keep my eyes tightly fixed on this band to see what they do next.