A little research can go a long way when it comes to checking out a band you’re set to review, a small taste of what you’re letting yourself in for, on my search I came across a review (albeit a positive one!) of this album that I thought set me up for a certain sound, and after a long, stressful few days, it sounded like the perfect thing to settle my exhausted self. On first listen, you could see what they were getting at, and just by a second listen, it felt like an album that had filled a hole in me that I didn’t even realise I had.
‘Grusom II’ is the sophomore release from Grusom, a Danish outfit that has crafted their sound down the path of the classic rock/stoner/acid rock spectrum. This is new music done with old fashioned flavours and obvious from the start. Kicking in with an easy listening organ start, the beginnings are heavily clad in the bluesy stoner style, ‘Beyond This Land’ plays through steady and true, reminiscent of a track perfect for those montage moments midpoint in a Vietnam war film. ‘Peace of Mind’ continues to carry the torch, ‘Skeletons’ takes a step up in the musicianship, I can’t help but think of Rainbow and one of their opus tracks ‘Stargazer’ when I hear this, climaxing with a beautifully sinister twist in the sound before leading into a just as impressive leap in the opposite direction with ‘Vågn Op’, a less is more approach with a soulfully approached solo.
The second half of the album sees a more lively approach starting with ‘Embers’, a heavier touch that brings more of Black Sabbath feel and drills into you as one of the most memorable moments of the album, even If against your will. That continues with ‘Dead End Valley’, with an opening riff that ticks all the right boxes, monstrously dirty, it pips the crown on the album for all its stoner glory. Album closer ‘Cursed From Birth’ could really take any turn considering the approach and variety of Grusom II, it polishes off nicely and couldn’t really sit anywhere better on the album. Mellow, gentle, hazy, it is that perfect song for the closing credits of that Vietnam war film we started out on.
‘Grusom II’ is something I cannot praise enough, a complete mishmash of so many bands thrown into a smelting pot. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, even maybe hints of The Doors at points, to Graveyard, The Devil and the Almighty Blues, Green Leaf and so on, they all have that touch of pure musicianship that everyone needs in their life. I am so glad to have this in my life, go get it in yours.