posted on 3/2009 By:
Italian grind trio Ammonium Nitrate cite the following bands as influences: Nasum, Rotten Sound, Pig Destroyer, Cripple Bastards, Gadget, Napalm Death, and Aborted. I cite those bands as seriously kick-ass bands, so let's see how the cleverly titled Demo 2008 matches up...
Opening with a sound sample of battle noises, the thirty-second blast-happy burst of "Game Over" gets the party started in appropriate form. The snare drum is a little thin-sounding, but this is a demo and I'm willing to forgive that because the energy and the songs are good enough to transcend that shortcoming. The guitar tone is thick and heavy, and the vocals alternate between a low growl and a high scream. (There’s nothing new here, in that department or any other. The Napalm Death, Nasum and Rotten Sound influences are readily apparent.) There’s even some melodic work in "Empty Shell," alongside a grating dissonant bass riff. This type of grind is not the crusty grind of Insect Warfare—this is a more refined, a more precise and prolonged attack, with most songs in the two-minute range (although one is four seconds long) and fully developed with multiple riffs and changes. Like the majority of their stated influences, Ammonium Nitrate temper their grind with a hearty dash of death metal, evident in the occasional Aborted-like choppy slower parts.
I’m impressed by Ammonium Nitrate, even if they don’t do anything outside the norm. This type of grindcore has floated my proverbial boat for years now, and I’ll take any band that can be mentioned alongside the ones I’ve mentioned above, no matter how rough around the edges they may be. These Italians have certainly got spirit and talent, and with some further effort and maybe a little stylistic expansion, they could be onto something even more than just a solid-but-borrowed Talarczyk-styled grindfest. Regardless, Nasum/Rotten Sound fans, take note and keep an eye on ‘em.
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