Release DetailsLABEL Open Grave Records
RELEASED ON 8/20/2006
Grind Trials - The Demos EP
posted on 8/2006 By:
You know how sometimes a reviewer tries to imply that listening to a certain disc will cause a veritable shift in the space/time continuum, transporting you back into whatever primitive period when the metal scene was somehow more glorious than it is now and blah, blah? I’ll kindly spare you such bullshit. When I listen to Downlord’s Grind Trials, the strongest impression I get is that this sounds like an EP that someone made, say, 10 years ago, and just now got around to doing something with it. Of course, that’s not even close to the reality of it, but it might have been more impressive if it was.
Considering the pedigree of the band members, (vocalist Dave Ingram, guitarists Rene Falther & Donovan Spenceley, bassist Thomas Fagerlind, and Rasmus Schmidt on drums) perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised by not being surprised by anything. That’s not to say this isn’t a wicked little EP, because it is in fact very solid, expertly performed grinding death metal with none of the currently token excesses. The songs are brief blasts of adrenaline, and rip forth one basic, brutally stiff tremolo or gallop riff after another, with Ingram’s cavernous trademark roar massively intact and sounding as potent as ever. The leads are generally abbreviated, melodic and well structured, but also very plain, and that’s about it in a nutshell.
The mix is a little off (it’s basically a demo, after all), as every other track sounds a little different than the one before it, obviously combining two different recording sessions. Some of the tracks are dominated by bass guitar, and on others the bass is hardly audible while the guitar tones seem to change with each song, sometimes fuzzy and full, other times thinner and rather lackluster, and the drums are just messy in general. Hopefully it was a budget issue, and not a style choice, and after all, it’s just an EP, the main event will come when Downlord releases their full-length later this year, supposedly.
As it is, this is a good EP, but nothing on it impressed me as being anything more than energized, standard ripping death metal with a bunch of cool blastbeats and decent riffs. Basically, if you took Iniquity, Bolt Thrower, and Benediction and tossed them in a blender on high-speed with some sort of energy drink, you’d get Downlord, and maybe that’s fine for you. It’s a nice quick fix if you have a little time to kill. We’ll see if Random Dictionary Of The Damned packs more of a punch, and if it does, we might hear something a little more captivating than this, so it might be best to just check out the MP3s on the band’s website, and save your pennies for the real deal.
Register to post comments.