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I must admit I became really excited at the prospect of reviewing this debut album from Grimmstine as it featured the awesome vocal talents of Steve Grimmett. Grimmett is probably most fondly remembered as being the voice in the much underrated 80s metal band Grim Reaper. He also featured on one Onslaught album, the excellent ‘In Search Of Sanity’, as well as having stints with Lionsheart and fronting his own band. Steve Stine is a UK guitarist I know very little about but he clearly demonstrates great potential. This album is firmly rooted in classic rock territory and, to be honest, the first three tracks, ‘Memory’ (a short instrumental), ‘911’ and ‘Supernatural’ are only decent and workmanlike with little to get you hooked. Thankfully, the album improves with the excellent melodic rock of ‘Got Nothing But Time’ and the instantly likeable ‘To Catch A Killer’. The supreme power ballad ‘You'll Never Know’ showcases the class of Grimmett's outstanding voice and Stine's beautifully hypnotic finger picking and lead solos. ‘It’s Over’ is classic metal whilst ‘Prisoner’ is, for the most part, a slow grinding anthem with the metallic riffs, the majestic voice and fist pumping finale, making this the standout track. ‘You Give Me Love’ is an impressive commercial soft rocker, which features some fragile sounding lead/finger picking from Stine and more great vocals from Grimmett including a truly memorable chorus. ‘Straight As An Arrow’ and ‘Like This Air’ possess an intense epic feel but remain melodic throughout and both are blinding tracks. The former kicks off with an impressive combination of drums/piano/stomping guitar (also used in the chorus) before leading into yet more melodically simplistic lead guitars and heartfelt vocals. Unfortunately, there is a lack of consistency on ‘Grimmstine’ with the uninspiring competent radio friendly ‘Til They Take My Wings’ and the weak, sugary, sickly album closer ‘To Sing A Lullabye (Immy's Song)’ being the low points. Although Grimmstine have delivered an album that is far from perfect, there is plenty of great material to admire on this debut collaboration and I can wholeheartedly recommend ‘Grimmstine’ to anyone who enjoys well crafted classic melodic hard rock/metal. For any fans of Steve Grimmet's back catalogue this album has to be an essential addition to their collection.
Metal Heaven
Review by Dave Crewe
26th Oct 2009
1) Memory; 2) 911
3) Supernatural; 4) Got Nothing But Time
5) To Catch a Killer; 6) You'll Never Know
7) It's Over
8) Prisoner
9) You Give Me Love
10) Straight as an Arrow
11) 'Til They Take My Wings
12) Take This Air; 13) Afraid of the Dark
14) This Don't Look Like Love To Me
15) To Sing a Lullabye (Immy's Song)
"For any fans of Steve Grimmet's back catalogue this album has to be an essential addition to their collection."