GRIM JUSTICE “Justice In The Night”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Austria’s GRIM JUSTICE is one of those bands that is pretty much made for the Pure Steel label. Deeply rooted in classic 80’s metal (and with a good whiff of 70’s steel as well), this is a band and album that is probably not going to top anybody’s year-end list, but winds up being satisfying in a meat-and-potatoes kind of way.

The big weapon in GRIM JUSTICE’s arsenal is their frontwoman, Michela Vignoli, whose vocals are compared to DORO in the press sheet. Surprise, surprise, she does indeed sound like the legendary German metal valkyrie, with a very clear and sharp voice with little trace of an accent. She sounds good even on the lesser tunes here and on the better ones, she does outstanding work. Add in the fact she also plays strong guitar and you have a talent to reckon with.

The album kicks off in a metallic fashion with the short, snappy title track, which reminds me of “Restless And Wild” era ACCEPT. It’s really “This Dark Soul Of Mine” where GRIM JUSTICE plays their best hand...not quite a ballad, but definitely not a speedy headbanger, this is just solid melodic metal with a great sense of flow and excellent lead guitar does sound like a prime DORO out-take.  “The House That Lies In the Shadows”, though, has some amazingly clunky riffing and never does get out from behind the 8-ball.

The second half of the album slows things down considerably and shows more 70’s hard rock influence than the first four cuts. “Hey Angel” has a cool piano-assisted hook and is a catchy piece of heavy AOR. “Terminus II” and “When Night Falls” are a bit on the average side, although vocals and guitar work is still sharp. “Argus” ends the album with an almost doom metal kind of rocker rather like a vintage PENTAGRAM song.

GRIM JUSTICE aren’t gonna blow anybody’s doors off, but there is something pleasing and straightforward about “Justice In the Night” that appeals to me. And maybe you as well?