Grief Of War
A Mounting Crisis... As Their Fury Got Released
posted on 2/2008 By:
So, I guess there's a bit of a thrash revival going on. I hear about and occassionally listen to Municipal Waste and hear about the other bands around but, honestly, I stopped with the upper crust of Northern Californian 80s thrash and have never really looked back. Dark Angel, Death Angel, and Vio-Lence is about as underground as I go with the whole thing. I generally stick with my Megadeth or Kreator if I'm in the mood. Otherwise, I'm on the death metal side or the crossover/hardcore side. So, as much as I like this album, I don't have the barometer to tell how it stands up with the recent high output of quality thash albums. Sorry, people.
What I can tell you is that Grief of War is a healthy blend of Kreator speed and vocals with the late 80s/early 90s Testament production. Which can be translated to really crunchy guitars and lots of great riffs. The production and mixing is very heavily in favor of the guitar. The drums are audible but don't pack the wallop of the often overbearing guitar tone. In a way, it actually helps with making this album sound all the more "retro". There are lots of old school breakdowns that would make Megadeth (20 years ago) and Anthrax (25 years ago) blush. "Rat Race" has a couple of great interludes that are total Mustaine. While, "Blind From the Facts" is more on the Testament side.
Vocalist, Manabu Hirose, drifts from Mille to Chuck Billy. I much prefer the snarl/yell to the attempt at being melodic and Grief of War delivers here. The only hang up I have with this release is my hang up with thrash in general which is the lack of variation from song to song. Which is a little hypocritical of me as I must note my affinity for Motorhead, AC/DC, Discharge, Darkthrone, all bands who have a similar issue. I think Grief of War, does their best to keep the album fresh. But clocking in at a cool 45 minutes, it can be a bit of a taxing listen. So I would suggest small portions instead of eating the whole meal.
The verdict here is if you like thrash, give it a shot. There's nothing to dislike here really if that's what you're into. This band takes bits from a lot of bands that I like and seems to make something almost fresh sounding but with that bit of retro. Not bad at all, for a debut. Oh, and they're from Japan! BANZAI!
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