Large bands are becoming rare, and a nine-piece band is not something that is commonly […]
By Joseph Hausmann
August 25, 2019
Gjöll - Residual album cover

Large bands are becoming rare, and a nine-piece band is not something that is commonly heard of. Rarer still is a Melodic/Death/Power Metal band with Nordic influences coming out of Tokyo, Japan. GJÖLL is this band, a perfect reminder of how truly amazing it is that Metal stretches to every part of the world. Named after the river that flows near the gate of the Norse underworld, it is only fitting that they have those influences run through their music.

Their latest EP, "Residual", takes us on a trip to the underworld filled with layer upon layer of artfully crafted music. The lead vocals are melodic and soaring. Paired with a dueling Death Metal vocalist, this band is as unique as they come. Not only do they have that aspect, they also have a viola player and a violinist! GJÖLL brings something different to every one of their tracks on their new EP.

"Residual" introduces GJÖLL to us with a powerful guitar riff and Death Metal vocals. The angelic, soaring vocals then layer upon them. Then you hear the band kick into high gear with heavy riffs under both vocalists. In this track the layers are too numerous to explain in full detail! The mixing of all the layers provides a strong first track.

"Ragnarøkkr Lovers" really emphasizes the violin. Paired with a matching guitar melody, the beginning of the song holds deep melancholy that you can feel. Then we dive into Hell with sinister organ chords mixed with demonic vocals. The violin solo and piano break in the middle part of the track tells us that the end is near.

"Secret Shame" envelops us in darkness. The eerie melodies of the violin and harp set the stage for a dark story. This track is wrapped in Nordic melodies mixed with a story of treachery. The song is full of constant buildup of melodies. Layer after layer of melody are added until the very end of the track. This buildup allows you to hear the individual tones of each member of the band.

"Grudge Stains" brings us to a firmly rooted Melodic Metal track. Tinged with Power Metal, this track offers a wide range of elements throughout. There are symphonic elements, synth elements and good old-fashioned guitar solos. The band really shows off their power with this song. Heavy riffs and blast beats provide the foundation while the soaring vocals carry us home.

Gjöll does an excellent job melding all of these elements into a strong production. Listening to "Residual", I was enthralled. This band is one of those that you end up losing yourself as you focus on the layers that they have compiled. With every listen I found something different, something unique. "Residual" is an EP that I highly recommend. I can't wait to see what this band produces next!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Residual" Track-listing:

1. Residual
2. Ragnarøkkr Lovers
3. Secret Shame
4. Grudge Stains

Gjöll Lineup:

Julia Mascetti - Vocals & Harps
Tuhka Paskinen - Despair/Howling Vocals
Rei - Vocals & Viola
Botti - Violins
Chaos - Bass
Nagamasa - Guitars
Shindou - Guitars
Ratchiman - Drums
Ojou - Keyboards

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