Hannes Grossmann is racking up an impressive résumé as one of Metal’s finest drummers since over a decade now, which is reminiscent of Gene Hoglan‘s sought-after technical playing in the 90’s (Dark Angel, Death, Devin Townsend, Testament, etc). Here are some of the records Hannes has played on:

  • Necrophagist – Epitaph (2004)
  • Obscura – Cosmogenesis (2009)
  • Blotted Science – The Animation of Entomology (2011)
  • Christian Muenzner – Beyond The Wall Of Sleep (2014)
  • Alkaloid – The Malkuth Grimoire (2015)
"The Crypts of Sleep" album cover
“The Crypts of Sleep” album cover

Now that you’re introduced, let’s talk about Hannes’ second solo album “The Crypts of Sleep” which was released on September 2nd 2016 (check it on Bandcamp here) after a successful (and completely worth it) Indiegogo campaign that raised €12,976 with an average of €32 per backer, about which Hannes stated “But I don’t want to use this campaign to personally benefit financially. I mainly benefit from expressing myself through my music and this campaign.”.

Now I asked myself “why is this a killer album?”, and it’s because this is a drummer’s solo project that doesn’t sound like one. For example, consider one of the top drummers in Prog music John Macaluso and his “The Radio Waves Goodbye” album. That one is undoubetly jaw-dropping and a hidden gem in Prog Metal but one can most definitely tell that it’s a drummer’s show. Hannes, however, goes solo to specifically compose the music that he wants to (without anyone else’s input), but not to the point of showing off and flexing his muscles. In a nutshell, his solo project sounds like a combination of sounds and tastes from his non-solo projects like Obscura (well he IS the band’s main songwriter), Necrophagist, etc (can’t complain much there).

Check out “Hail Satan”

With 9 tracks and almost an hour of music, “The Crypts of Sleep” is certainly not a lightweight when it comes to testing the listener’s patience, but that’s more in a reverse “too good for one album” sort-of way – certainly worth it for those who supported the Indiegogo campaign. Track after track, Hannes effortelessly showcases a clinic in Death Metal songwriting and proves that his solo work carries as much weight as any major release in the genre. The one criteria you can count on with Hannes is that crisp-clear technical musicianship which is so smooth throughout the songs that you end up taking its complexity for granted.

Check out “To Sow The Seeds of Earth”

Last but not least, I must mention the all-star lineup on this album: besides Hannes’s sick drumming, the album is packed with talent, from those (un)godly growls to insane basslines and tight guitar work!

  • Morean – Vocals (Dark Fortress, Alkaloid)
  • Hannes Grossmann – Drums (Alkaloid, Blotted Science, ex-Necrophagist)
  • Linus Klausenitzer – Bass (Obscura, Alkaloid)
  • Christian Muenzner – Lead guitars (Spawn of Possession, ex-Obscura, ex-Necrophagist, Alkaloid, Eternity’s End)
  • Danny Tunker – Rhythm and lead guitars (Abhorrent, Alkaloid, ex-Aborted)
  • Fountainhead – Solo guitar (ex-Obscura)
  • Per Nilsson – Solo guitar (Scar Symmetry)
  • Erik Rutan – Solo guitars (Hate Eternal, ex-Morbid Angel)



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