After two previous EP’s (2007’s self-titled effort and 2009’s “Death On The Moor”), Birmingham’s Grimpen Mire released their debut full-length effort in 2012. “A Plague Upon Your Houses” is a five – track, forty two minute combination of traditional doom and sludge. The band have built a decent reputation from some excellent live performances and they have tried to capture that intense experience on this album. This album has now been released by Witch Hunter Records as a limited edition cassette and pay-what-you-like download.
Grimpen Mire don’t mess about with any introduction as the album kicks off with the slow menacing riff of ‘Bloodcult Reborn’, and from that moment on the album doesn’t let up one bit. ‘All Mens Fears’ is up next and is introduced by a punishing bass line courtesy of Paul Van Linden and it spends the next eight minutes switching between the bleak funeral paced dirge and a more melodic (if that’s the right word) cleaner sections.
‘Cross The Rubicon’ is up next and probably the standout track of the five on offer here. Amongst the usual doom, there is a quite eerie solo that adds another layer of atmosphere hat many other similar bands just don’t employ, and it works really well on here. The two remaining tracks read similar round to what has gone before, with closing track ‘Black mass Hallucination’ again featuring a slower section before the album draws to a closes in a sea of feedback.
Certainly not a bad album, far from it, but with stunning releases from the likes of Conan, and Trudger, “A Plague Upon Your Houses” just lacks that special touch that have made the other albums so good. The doom scene is a very busy one and to stand out in such a crowded scene, you have to reach a pretty high standard, and this one just misses out. The three piece are a great live band have a great amount of potential and this album merely scratches the surface of what the band have to offer. Definitely worth checking out, I think that Grimpen Mire have a great album in them at some point.