REVIEW: HANNES GROSSMANN – “The Crypts of Sleep”
German drummer Hannes Grossmann’s (Alkaloid, Eternity’s End, Blotted Science, ex- Necrophagist, ex- Obscura) new solo album contains exactly what you’d expect from the man –tech death riffs, blast beats, and growls. Still, the music and lyrics are intelligent and well thought-out, much like the stuff on Alkaloid’s debut record. Although featuring almost the same line-up as Alkaloid, his new solo album, titled ‘The Crypts of Sleep’ sounds more focused and cohesive, as all the songs were written by Hannes.
The title track alternates between sharp riffs, accented blasts and much meatier grooves, accompanied by Morean’s mammoth voice. His clean vocals also find a place, polishing up the track “In The Eye Of The Storm” with a layered, epic chorus. Clicky double bass is something not usually associated with Hannes, but on all the songs it cuts through the mix like a hot knife through butter and doesn’t sound boxy. The final master on all the drum channels is superbly done, for it doesn’t let the softer hits disappear behind the layers of heavy guitar played by Danny Tunker.
Hannes wrote the riffs, but Danny Tunker’s polished style of playing gives the guitar an edge and makes it the hero of the album along with the drums. The huge opening riff on “Hail Satan” is proof that Morbid Angel does have a place in Hannes’ heart, much like Obscura’s “Ocean Gateways” and Alkaloid’s “Cthulhu”. Morean sounds devilish with his reverberating growls, and complements the colossal groove in “Hail Satan” perfectly.
Linus Klausenitzer on the bass is the unsung hero of the record. It shows just how comfortable he is playing with Hannes, Danny, and Morean, as he fills in the gaps seamlessly with basslines that keep up with the overwhelming creative output of Hannes Grossmann. Guest guitar solos from Tom Fountainhead (ex- Obscura), Christian Muenzner (Alkaloid, Eternity’s End), Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal, ex-Morbid Angel) and Per Nilsson (Scar Symmetry) and Danny Tunker make each song a unique experience. These individual experiences together make for a diverse album that doesn’t abandon the extreme metal sound.
However, the album doesn’t go so far as to throw in a surprise like his previous solo record, which contained a gem –a piano version of Obscura’s “Euclidean Elements”. Not much room for complaint here, but the rest of the tracks are convincing in that Hannes is pretty much a band all by himself, at least as a songwriter. All death metal and extreme metal fans would dig the record, so pick up ‘The Crypts of Sleep’ when it releases on 2 September, 2016!