Title: The Redemptive End
Label: AOP Records
Release Date: 13 August 2021
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording
Groza went under my radar already with the previous album “Unified In Void” from 2018. With this release back then, the band was immediately accused to be an Mgła copy. Of course the album was clearly influenced by the Polish black metal legends, but this was never denied by the band, instead the founder and vocalist P.G. said in an interview, that his main influence was “Exercises in Futility” from 2015 and the first album was supposed to be a Mgła worship and also the main reason to form GROZA in 2016, first as a one-man band, later as a full line-up band.
Three years after the first record, Groza finally published their second album “The Redemptive End” on the 13th of August 2021 via AOP Records.
The evolution, the band from Bavaria made over the years is hearable. On the way to create an own, more unique style, Groza integrated this time also post-rock elements, which reminds in parts a bit of Austrian post-black metal band Harakiri for the Sky, and also implemented a wider instrumental range – Saxophone (by Peter Zilles on “Elegance of Irony” and “The Redemptive End” ) and orchestral arrangements are woven perfectly into this black metal gem.
With “Sunken in Styx -Part I Submersion” the album starts with kind of an intro. The shortest song of “The Redemptive End” is instrumental, supported by the voice of D.M. in a spoken part, and leads directly to “Sunken in Styx – Part II Descent”, an amazing start for this excellent record. Groza creates with the interaction of melodic guitars, blast beats and P.G.s amazing vocals a tightly woven aura of melancholy.
“Elegance of Irony”, which was released previously as music video via AOP Records, is one of the songs with the above mentioned post-rock influences. The song is thriving from 0:01 and doesn’t stop until 7:19. The vocals are so perfectly timed and embedded into the musical surrounding, that it gives you chills when he shouts “Bones to ashes, souls to dust” just a moment before the melody changes.
The 4th song of the album, the title song “The Redemptive End” is a killer. Starting with a black metal atmosphere, the full song changes at minute 2:50 abruptly to a slow and unexpected mellow acoustic guitar part which builds over 3 minutes an instrumental construct of guitar, drums and bass, only to explode directly into a breakdown of vocals and blastbeats which leads to the final, melodic part. 8:34 minutes of various melodies, breaks, changes, surprises. Perfectly done.
“Nil” ties up to the previous song, fast forward pushing drums, combined with an excellent ambience, interrupted by a slower passage with spoken words in background, alternating with P.G.s vocal performance. In the second half of the song, after a short part that simply screams “Headbang!!”, Groza shows again its new post-rock influences, variating the harmony of the initial main riff, combined with blast beats and the despairingly vocals.
“Homewards” is the last and with over 10 minutes also the longest song of the whole album. Starting with spoken words and a more soft melody – but from the previous songs we already know, that the change will come sooner or later. This happens then at minute 1:40. What follows then are 9 minutes of outstanding music. The variation of the different riffs, the excellent performed vocals and the thoughtful placement of the slower parts are creating a power of attraction which the listener can’t escape. But who would like to escape from this?
Groza created an album, which is truly a masterpiece. Vocalist P.G. said, people should focus on the music and not on the person behind the mask. This is quite easy, when the music is such a perfectly done album, with an excellent composed mix of instrumental and vocal parts.
As logical conclusion, I only can give a 10/10. Ylva
P.G. – lead vocals, guitars
U.A. – backup vocals, guitars
M.S. – bass guitar
T.H.Z. – drums
10/10 : Immortal Classic
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.**