Label: Iron Shield Records
Date: February 24th, 2023
Michela Vignoli and Thomas Strohmayer formed Grim Justice in Vienna back in 2010. Demo CD was released in 2011 and, debut album “Grim Justice” in 2015. “The Return of the Flame” followed in 2018. Single “Curse of the Moon” announced “Justice in the Night”. When I was choosing music for our radio show last month, I sent their song to our editor; he said they are a damn good band. I cannot argue with an old English gentleman. If he says something is good, then it is good. No argument. Putting the jokes aside, from four young people, you cannot expect such a mature album. And certainly not that good old school sound. Listening to this album I felt like I was listening to good old Girlschool. As more as you listen, you can notice early Iron Maiden influence.
If the band name is Grim Justice, yes, you expect good inspirational album cover. And they got it. Justicia, the Goddess of justice, wearing a nice romantic dress instead of toga, is balancing scales with dollars inside, while a figure of a man dressed in black with a death mask on his face is stealing of course in the night when thunder is ripping the sky.
The album was written during the pandemic. Pandemic itself delayed the album release, but at least the band had enough time to make the album to perfection at least the way they see perfection. Musically, the band is inspired by ’70 and ’80 hard rock. Mid tempo dominates on this album. Old school production is a big plus. Twin guitars, harmonious vocals and guitar solos are the trademark of the band, but I would extract the great piano section in “When Night Falls” as my favorite. Back vocals might be too raw, but completely fit in old school production. Haunted houses, creatures of the night, hypocrisy, corruption, depression are the main lyrical themes. A wide range of lyrical themes as well as diversity in vocal performance are also the big plus for the band.
Michaela is a powerful front woman with an attitude. In the sea of generic metal bands, it is the real pleasure discovering Grim Justice, the band with an attitude and not intention to play on the card female fronted band. Yes, they have a girl in the band, but the girl is what you might expect: sexualized and submissive. Michaela does not fit in the stereotype; you will not see her with hard make up, leather pants and small corsets showing as much skin as she can. She tends to be more like her male colleagues. She is a warrior, passionate artist with a strong attitude and yes, finally after who knows how many spins; it is obvious Michela Vignoli is highly influenced by Patti Smith.