Album Review – Grenouer / Unwanted Today (2015)

If alternative heavy music is your cup of tea, the new album by this talented and experienced Russian band might be exactly what you are looking for.

Rating4

5.Unwanted_Today.Album_coverUnwanted Today is more than just the eighth studio album by Russian Alternative Metal/Rock band Grenouer. Blending elements of traditional Heavy Metal and Alternative Rock and always evolving in a very similar way to what can be found in the music by renowned bands such as Sevendust, Velvet Revolver and Linkin Park, among others, the entire album is a very interesting expedition through the realms of alternative music and, according to the band members themselves, can be considered “a soundtrack to an epic story of loss, struggle, and resurgence.”

In case you have no idea of what that actually means, I suggest you take a good listen at Unwanted Today in its entirety, and not just at one or two songs, otherwise you won’t be able to absorb the full message delivered by this talented four-piece group from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Not only that, the music in the album is nicely complemented by guest contributions from Eddy Cavazza (John Wetton, Anthony Phillips), Demian Von Dunkelwald (Overunit Machine), Enrico ‘Erk’ Scutti (Figure Of Six) and Dmitriy Yankovskiy (Helicaon Opera), adding extra layers of vibrancy to the overall result.

The futuristic intro Awake already presents to the listener the avant-garde side of the band, but it’s when the heavy riffs and keyboards from Alternative Metal from the title-track Unwanted Today kick in that you’ll get a much better taste of what Grenouer have to offer. In addition, lead singer Andrey Ind has a smooth and melancholic voice that matches perfectly with the band’s musicality. It’s a very good song for driving on an endless road, just like A Little Too Obsessed, which presents a stronger Hard Rock vibe the likes of Velvet Revolver thanks to the job done by guitarist Alexander Motor. In my opinion, this is what Linkin Park could have been doing if they hadn’t chosen the more “commercial” path of the music industry.

The following track, Something Really Bad, is another radio-ready tune where the band delivers a pleasant and very cohesive sonority with its Rock N’ Roll riffs enhanced by its Alternative Rock drums and vocals, while the slower and more introspective On A Rainy Day sounds tailored for a relaxing moment alone. Blossoms In The Dust, a semi-ballad where the low-tuned bass lines by Al Bolo keep it away from being commercial due to their strength, follows a similar pattern as the previous track, with highlights to Andrey and Alexander for being in total sync. And “closing” the first half of the album we have I Can’t Stand It, where Grenouer travel back to an Alternative Metal musicality, in special its heavier riffs and atmospheric passages with the vocals by Andrey being boosted by the background effects. Besides, its straightforward lyrics truly help the song become more enjoyable.

3.Grenouer.Photo.AIn Daily Miracles, which even has a headbanging feeling despite not being pure metal music, they combine elements from bands like Korn, Linkin Park and Sevendust, with Al Bolo once again kicks ass on bass, whereas Going To Stay is even heavier and therefore more inclined to Heavy Metal. It’s my favorite song of the entire album, with guest guitarist Eddy Cavazza enhancing its energy level and its chorus being extremely effective and catchy. Point Of No Return, another introspective song totally focused on its vocals lines, kind of disappoints a little not for being a bad song ( it delivers what it proposes), but for coming right after the most exciting tune of all. Maybe if it had been placed before “Going To Stay” it would have sounded a lot better, who knows, at least to my ears.

The electricity is back in Artificial Tears, a great display of Alternative Rock with a metallic energy flowing and the constant beats by Danny D leading the song, before Don’t Let Them (Get You Down) shows us all Grenouer know how to go from low and heavy music to gentler passages, displaying a high level of professionalism that proves why they’ve been in action since the 90’s. And to properly wrap up this alternative “soundtrack” they offer us the outro Clearway, which showcases an impeccable connection with how everything started in “Awake”.

You can get more information on Grenouer at their Facebook page and YouTube channel, and also get your copy of Unwanted Today at the Mausoleum Records webstore or at the band’s BandCamp page. If you’re a fan of well-crafted alternative heavy music, this entertaining album by this skillful band from Russia might be exactly what you’re looking for to add to your playlist.

Best moments of the album: Unwanted Today, A Little Too Obsessed and Going To Stay.

Worst moments of the album: Point Of No Return.

Released in 2015 Mausoleum Records

Track listing
1. Awake 1:01
2. Unwanted Today 3:17
3. A Little Too Obsessed 3:37
4. Something Really Bad 3:25
5. On A Rainy Day 2:46
6. Blossoms In The Dust 3:27
7. I Can’t Stand It 3:14
8. Daily Miracles 3:27
9. Going To Stay 2:57
10. Point Of No Return 3:25
11. Artificial Tears 3:10
12. Don’t Let Them (Get You Down) 3:44
13. Clearway 1:47

Band members
Andrey Ind – vocals
Alexander Motor – guitars
Al Bolo – bass
Danny D – drums 

Guest musicians
Eddy Cavazza – lead guitar on “Going To Stay” and keyboards on “Clearway”
Demian Von Dunkelwald – guest vocals
Enrico ‘Erk’ Scutti – guest vocals
Dmitriy Yankovskiy – guest vocals

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