Release DetailsLABEL Siege Of Amida
RELEASED ON 6/14/2007
Fragments Of A Shattered Skull
posted on 1/2008 By:
Anyone care to enlighten me on what a mCD is? Every time I see something that is labeled an mCD, it turns out to be twenty to thirty minutes of music, which is what we call an EP where I come from.
So yea, Fragments of a Shattered Skull is the debut “mCD” from the UK’s Chaos Blood and sure enough, the disc’s ten tracks run a mere twenty-two minutes but provide an energetic, thrashy/deathy grindcore punch in the mouth. Not grindcore in its traditional form, instead splitting the difference between a less spazzy Red Chord and Napalm Death without their pure, crust punk venom. Hell, on the title track the band delves into a melodic acoustic/electric break somewhere in the middle before jumping to a bouncy metallic riff with a solo laid on top, so you know this isn't limited to non-stop grinding.
As the description above would indicate, you can expect liberal doses of chunky core-isms (though no really blatant metalcore-style breakdowns), interspersed brief jaunts of blast-oriented grind, thrashy picking patterns, and death metal’s heft. The ten tracks herein basically stick with that formula, throwing in just enough variance between songs to keep things interesting (the title track is a good example). The band plays fast and with a high level of technicality, but I would hesitate to call them a "technical band" per se because it has become almost typical in today’s death/grind climate for a band to have musicianship of this level. And besides, they obviously aren't just shredding because they can. The production on Fragments… is damn solid, too. The guitar tone is crunchy and clear while maintaining beefy ballast (awesome alliteration, amigo!) with a dense, menacing bass tone underneath. The drums don’t feel completely natural, but don’t feature that overly-triggered clicky sound, opting for something in the middle.
At first listen, Chaos Blood is a slightly above average modern grind band, but the more I listen to this disc the more I find myself blasting along on my desk with my fingers and nodding in time with the chunkier riffs. The only explanation for that happening while listening to such a familiar sounding record is good songwriting. I'm not saying this thing is loaded with instant classics, but if the band goes on to release a string of good discs, they could be. Fragments of a Shattered Skull is a damn fine disc, but for the band to have this kind of success over forty or fifty minutes compared to twenty-two, they will need to hone their songwriting a bit and let their sound branch out a little more. Good shit!
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