The automobile and energy industries prove it on a daily basis: they swear by hybrids, in other words a homogeneous mix of different components which blend past, present and future. German newcomer act Gloomball apply similar parameters in terms of their artistic orientation. Their debut album is called The Distance and documents an amazing diversity of styles, influences and ingredients. “We refer to our material simply as rock music, but you could also call it alternative metal or modern rock,” guitarist Björn Daigger, who composed the majority of the tracks together with vocalist Alen Ljubic, explains, adding: “At the end of the day, our range includes elements from pop to death metal. In addition, there are classic orchestra parts as well as ultra-deep seven-string guitars. There are no stylistic taboos in Gloomball.”
Since 2010, Gloomball have developed from a project which was initially limited to pure studio work to a hot live act and have long had their baptism of fire, continuing to impress growing numbers of fans with their dynamic style. They have played with top acts such as Dillinger Escape Plan, Ektomorf, Neaera, Ignite, Parkway Drive and Axxis without getting the short end of the stick. So it’s no surprise that it didn’t take long for renowned record companies to express their interest in this band.
Additional strong arguments for the justified public interest were Gloomball’s two demo releases which document beyond doubt just how talented and at the same time mature this young group is. Four songs from this creative era have made it onto The Distance: ‘Hands In Blood’, ‘Bitter Place’, ‘Long Time Gone’ and ‘We Do Belong’. All four numbers have of course been rerecorded to adapt them to the band’s current style. In addition, The Distance features seven brand-new tracks plus an impressive cover version of Robert M. Tepper‘s ‘No Easy Way Out’ from the movie classic ‘Rocky IV’.
So fasten your seatbelts, make sure your seat is in an upright position and refrain from smoking when Gloomball move in for the kill with rock numbers such as ‘Overcome’ and ‘We Do Belong’. Driven by hard-as-nails guitar riffs courtesy of Daigger and fellow-stringsman Jossi Lenk, Basti Moser (bass) and Danny Joe’s (drums) uncompromising rhythm section and Alen Ljubic‘s haunting, never pushy melodies, the twelve songs on The Distance drill themselves like barbs into your aural tract. All those who prefer their music really nasty will love ‘Blown Away And Gone’, while ‘Your Sorrow Inside Me’ sees Gloomball opt for a different style, producing progressive sounds for a change.
Talking of sounds: a lot of the music on The Distance has deep lyrics and a personal note. “Buried all my hopes, throw it overboard, I’ll go on without you, I’m better off alone, can’t stand your lies, hate the way you hide, I’ll kill you quick, you are no more on my mind,” sings Ljubic on ‘More And More’, delving deep into interpersonal themes and problematic relationships. The intensity of these lyrics suits the urgency of the overall sound, which is tough yet transparent and rich in detail. To cut a long story short: The Distance presents a holy alliance of music, lyrics and production which does the rock music genre proud.
What else can we say about these amazingly confident newcomers? Well, Gloomball have brought a fresh breeze and surprising complexity to the rock music scene, which you will be able to witness for yourself during their impending tour. As Daigger says: “This music belongs on the stage, and we can hardly wait to present The Distance live to our fans as often as possible in the coming months.” You won’t have to wait long for Gloomball to play a venue near you, so get ready for even more impressive feats by this brilliant band.
Matthias Mineur (February 2013)