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GOLEM ‘Dreamweaver’ (Nuclear Blast) (2004)

Golem

Lately I have been bombarded with many interesting new releases, one of which is that of the German Deathgrinders Golem. Even though the band has been around for the last fifteen years, "Dreamweaver" is just their third studio release. The reason? If someone was to offer a prize for the most unlucky band in the world, Golem would have been the ideal candidates.

Itís not just the fact that there has been a variety of changes in the bandís line up throughout the years, but also the fact that Golem have witnessed the death of their founding member, bassist Max Grutzmacher in 1992 and of their second guitar player Jens Malwitz one year later. That didnít stop the band for creating their favourite music which combines the technicality of Morbid Angel (yes, them again) and the melodic guitarwork of bands like Autopsy and Carcass.

After the release of two very interesting albums, "Eternity - The Weeping Horizons" in 1996 and "The 2nd Moon" in 1999, and again a few more changes in the line up (it kind of sounds more like a curse rather than anything else), things started to get better for Golem. With a big company now to back them up and a renewed faith in their music abilities the band entered the studio and in the beginning of 2003 started the recording of what was to become their third ever studio release.

The first three songs of the album, and especially the opening track "Al-Ghanor" with itís furious technical drumming parts, made me believe that "Dreamweaver" would be the ideal album for every Morbid Angel maniac - technically impressive and as heavy as it can possibly get.

I had witnessed a few melodic parts on the songs up to "Rose", the sixth song of the album, but it wasnít until "Diaspora", the 8th song of the album that the members of the band decided to present their melodic face. The result was simply amazing! Nice melodic solos and rhythm guitars that reminded me a lot of Carcass and even of the Dutch Death Metal godz Pestilence, made "Diaspora" one of the best tracks I have listened to so far this year.

From this point onwards every song will be a pleasant surprise, second best being "The Tower", which has a really interesting organ intro. Ten times more melodic and atmospheric than the previous nine songs of the album, it will make you doubt whether you are still listening to the same band, since the comparisons with bands like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth will be almost inevitable. "Dreamweaver" is a one and a half-minute guitar base outro that you would normally expect to listen to from an Epic/Power Metal band.

The biggest surprise will come with "Le Sacre du Printemps" a nine minute hidden track similar to the ones that Mekong Delta created in the mid-80ís. Progressive Death Metal, the sounds of which only a well-trained ear can accommodate.

I really donít know whatís going on inside this bandís head, but Iím once again happy to realize that artists nowadays have broken all the barriers and are no longer afraid to express their creativity in many different ways. Thatís what our music needs and thatís exactly what Golem provides.

****

Review by John Stefanis

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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