Wrench In The Works
posted on 4/2010 By:
I wasn’t overly impressed with 2008's Lost Art of Heaping Coal, the debut of Connecticut’s Christian metal act Wrench in the Works. It was a burly, noisy and solid but forgettable effort of angular, angry modern hardcore that mixed Zao, Converge, Mastodon and Hatebreed.
So with Decrease/Increase things look to have improved a little bit. The backbone of the band is still excellent drummer Andy Nelson, who carries all the songs with a surgical skill and heaviness, though vocalist Darrell Tauro is a bit of a weak link with his standard gruff shouts that are a bit muffled and low in the mix. Still, musically, the band seems to have upped the intensity and energy from their largely lumbering debut. There are some blast beats and some very hefty moments of tangible heaviness in the form of the throttling opening trio of “Vultures”, “Project AK- 47” and “A Desert Voice,” as well as slow lopers like “Deathslayer” and “Walk Among the Tombstones" that do the whole "controlled chaos" thing with aplomb and direct hardcore punch, even if, about 7 songs in, my interest is wavering, and I really can't recall too many of the songs.
Production-wise, things seem a little muddier than on the debut, but in a good way, as it adds some grit and character to the band's sound as opposed to being overly polished and clicky. Plus, it gives a chance for Nelson’s skills to be at the forefront. Lyrically, it's what you’d expect from a Christian metal band on Facedown Records, though it's not all salvation and grace as the band tackles deeper affairs like on “Project AK-47,” which deals with a ministry that helps children forced into soldiering in South East Asia. Instrumental closer “Vows (He Must Increase)” is the album's only real refrain, delivering a typically Christian grace introspective gait, closing the otherwise pretty girthy album out with a nice let-down.
Wrench in the Works are hardly Facedown Records' best or most memorable band, but they have a workmanlike prose and approach, as well as a no-nonsense sound that belies their beliefs, making for a solid band that has the potential to grow even more.
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