posted on 9/2009 By:
Magrudergrind play an epic, highly melodic form of orchestral progressive metal, heavy on keyboards and symphonics and lead by a soaring tandem of operatic male and female vocals. Just kidding.
Really though, when you actually go as far as to include the word “grind” in the freakin’ name of your band, I would expect such a band to devote themselves entirely to the pursuit of pure, unadulterated grind with no bullshit attached. As it stands, Magrudergrind have the former aspect of their sound down to a tee, but there’s far too much of the bullshit lining the edges for it to shine through properly.
The framework of Magrudergrind’s sound is razor sharp and impeccably tight; harsh and unbearably fast with little to no evidence of any outside influences. In fact, this style of grind honestly has little to do with heavy metal; nothing about this album is “heavy” in the traditional sense, and the riffs are based more on straight noise than any kind of distinguishable or technical patterns (not to say the execution isn’t incredibly precise). The production renders the intensity of this album with almost overwhelming clarity, and the manic screaming of the vocalist is hair-raising in the best way possible. Songs are largely indistinguishable in terms of compositional touches, but the raw force of Magrudergrind’s sound is merciless, and fairly distinctive from the heavily-metal influenced sound of many of today’s grindcore bands.
So why on Earth these guys decided to relegate a good quarter (or what feels like it) of the album’s length to inane and overlong samples is completely beyond me. This is a practice that I’ve long hoped would remain mostly relegated to campy gore projects such as Mortician (where the samples are usually better than the music itself), but it seems bands like Magrudergrind are still intent on carrying this unwanted torch into the realms of traditional grind as well. Its hardly a problem in the beginning of the disc, but by the second half of the album the band is dragging almost every song down with stupidly sophomoric samples that may elicit a chuckle or two initially, but quickly become tedious and aggravating. I don’t mind a quick sample on one or two songs, but the idiotic rap segments and fake radio-DJ excerpts become criminally unfunny after you hear them a couple of times, and even worse, make you hesitant to sit through the entire album considering the brevity of the core material.
I’m not condemning Magrudergrind’s efforts because of this mostly extraneous detail, but I’m certainly disappointed that a band with this kind of potential insisted on shooting themselves in the foot like this. If you are one of those people who somehow thinks that these kinds of samples “add to the atmosphere” of the music itself, by all means pick this record up, as the actual grind portion of Magrudergrind is brutally intense and quite entertaining. But those of us who actually expect to hear, you know, music on our metal and grind albums would be better advised to try out this year’s excellent offerings from Mumakil, Brutal Truth, and Afgrund.
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