Words by Stína Satanía
There are albums that smack you straight in the face. It felt like that the first time I listened to Love, Lust and Greed by Icelandic hardcore quartet Great Grief. They have been out there since 2013 and are one of those bands that, despite touring all over Iceland, might deliver it even better abroad than in their own backyard. Since they have spread their energy across the Atlantic, it should come as no surprise that the band dropped their long-awaited debut album on 7 December 2018 under the banner of Los Angeles based No Sleep Records.
The album starts off at high speed and goes full throttle with emotion. This is what Great Grief have become known for in the local music scene. They deliver intense, profound live performances that translate into impassioned albums that almost push them over the top. The band touches on such sensitive subjects as the exploitation of artists, the harmful party culture in Iceland, love, hate, meaningless relationships, isolation and, last but not least, mental health. There was no other option than for the tracks to be forceful and to kick you hard in the teeth, especially considering that Love, Lust and Greed took three years to complete! A lot can happen in such a long period.
Furious basslines wake up the beasts and eventually lead to screaming. Drums with sharp guitar riffs roll steadily like a tank over the listener. ‘Inhale the Smoke’ chimes in with dramatic piano chords before the explosion, whereas ‘Ivory (Lie)’ is like a melodic, violent snowstorm. At times, there are clean singing surfaces, and that make the songs sound even more genuine.
The point of music is not always to enjoy the beauty. And that definitely sums up hardcore. This genre is about feelings, stimulating the brain and provoking thought. And even though I didn’t grow up on hardcore music and the social scene surrounding it, I embrace it with open arms. Please, provoke me. You know why? Because the emotions on this album can bring the listener to catharsis. Its brutal face, eager to hide the vulnerability underneath, washes away all the negativity after a mere 34-minute listening session.
Thank you, Great Grief, for ripping your guts out and pouring your hearts and a wide spectrum of feelings into the 11 tracks of Love, Lust and Greed. We need you to stay with us a little bit longer than for the duration of this album and spread this fire across the globe.
Great Grief – Love, Lust and Greed
1. Fluoxetine: Burden Me
2. Feeling Fine
3. Troubled Canvas
4. Escaping Reykjavík
6. Inhale the Smoke
7. The Nihilist Digest
8. Ivory (Lie)
9. God Sent
10. Roots (Love, Lust and Greed)