There is an old expression that if you put 10000 hours into something, you are an expert. Therefore, after 40 years of experience, perhaps you can be considered a legend. Despite the fact that Grim Reaper have been active for over four decades and were part of the wave of British heavy metal with the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, they still remain below the radar of popularity behind their counterparts. Nevertheless, led by Steve Grimmett, Grim Reaper continues to tour and record with a new lineup consisting of bassist Julian Hill and drummer Mark Pullin, alongside Steve and his long-term collaborator, guitarist Ian Nash. Which brings us to their new album scheduled for release October 25, 2019 titled “At The Gates”.
As with all bands with a new lineup and 40 years of experience under the belt, Grim Reaper is a different band since their beginnings in 1979 and their new album reflects that. At The Gates provides the listener with a mature and emotional experience centered around classic Heavy Metal riffs from the days of yore. This is evident straight from the album-titled, opening track and carries through the albums first ten tracks. Guitarist Nash leads each song with trademark lead riff and only “What Lies Beneath” opens with a more classic late ‘70’s hammering sound found in heavy metal music of it’s time. The final track “Shadows of the Dark” provides a different sound compared to the rest of the CD with an opening sound of chanting before a lyrical story of personal inflection begins.
Lyrically, this album is different then many heavy metal albums but is relatable to the audience who have followed Grim Reaper over the decades. At The Gates deals with the difficulties of life of people who have experienced times of despair and uncertainty. Recorded after the tragic health situations of Steve Grimmett, the feelings expressed within the CD touch an emotional nerve with those who have experienced similar situations themselves or those of someone they have loved.
At The Gates is a quality British Heavy Metal album filled with solid musical leads and riffs equal to their iron Maiden and Judas priest counterparts. It is also a different album then previous Grim Reaper albums with Steve Grimmett’s timeless vocals being the primary link between past and present. Hill and Pulin play solid rhythm’s with Nash’s riffs being strong and scintillating throughout the album. As with all bands who have undergone personnel changes, new members bring new concepts providing At The Gates with a sound with a more modern edge then albums past and sometimes, change is good.
Please see their official website for the details at http://www.facebook.com/grimreaperofficial