Monday, 29 February 2016

Magrudergrind - "II" (Album Review)

By: Mike Wilcox

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 12/02/2016
Label: Relapse Records


Now operating out of Brooklyn NY the newly revamped Magrudergrind release “ii” with every bit of intensity that their cult following had dreamed of. Yes the songs are short and painfully sweet. Yes the vocal work is scream-shouted relentlessly. There is still a very large grind element to the music. The first four tracks come across aggressive and violent and the listener is geared up to hit the ground running. As “Relentless Hatred” belts out and goes into “Sacrificial Hire” the style change is more evident. With a focus on the heavy riffs giving foundation for the blazing rhythm/vocal attacks that follow, the listener is able to fall into the groove, even if only for a second, and is then brashly escorted into chaos, a maelstrom of drums, guitar and everything in between.

“II” CD//DD//LP track listing:
01. Imperium In Imperio
02. Divine Dictation
03. The Opportunist
04. Relentless Hatred
05. Sacrificial Hire
06. War For Resources
07. Black Banner
08. Hara-Kiri
09. Stale Affairs
10. Regressive Agenda
11. Incarceration State
12. Unit 731
13. Icaro
14. Husayni / Handschar
15. Pharmacide

The Review:

Magrudergrind – “II” "Expect the unexpected.” Words from Shane Embury on the upcoming Imperial Death March tour with the Melvins and Melt-Banana. I had reflected on these words when I first listened to Magrudergrind’s newest release on the heels of a six year hiatus and line up change. Now operating out of Brooklyn NY the newly revamped Magrudergrind release “II” with every bit of intensity that their cult following had dreamed of.

Kurt Ballou and GodCity Studio certainly had a hand in this (…”Ballou has done it again…” as I read elsewhere), but the true craft and shine of “II” comes from the meticulous intensity of its members. The notable difference in “II” and previous Magrudergrind recordings is that there is no longer the use of samples in the music. In fact, it’s much more of a “Bridge Burner” (Magrudergrind – “self titled”) feel overall. Yes the songs are short and painfully sweet. Yes the vocal work is scream-shouted relentlessly. There is still a very large grind element to the music. The first four tracks come across aggressive and violent and the listener is geared up to hit the ground running. As “Relentless Hatred” belts out and goes into “Sacrificial Hire” the style change is more evident. With a focus on the heavy riffs giving foundation for the blazing rhythm/vocal attacks that follow, the listener is able to fall into the groove, even if only for a second, and is then brashly escorted into chaos, a maelstrom of drums, guitar and everything in between.

The album isn’t about the fast songs in my opinion. With tracks like “Black Banner” and “Unit 731” intermittently throughout “II” the emphasis seems to be much more with the slow groove that is being spread among the faster acts. As I had touched on previously, Pig Destroyer gave us “Mass and Volume”, Agoraphobic Nosebleed is in the heat of a multi EP series featuring a focus on each member, and now Magrudergrind “slow down” with “II”. Slow isn’t the right way to characterize it, however. Structured. Intense. Deliberate. Everything that you hear was put there on purpose.

Magrudergrind’s II” is an impeccable album in that regard. Time changes everything. Six years has given change to Magrudergrind. Typical to the polarization that comes with a band’s stylistic change, Magrudergrind’s revamped sound is not for everyone. Of course you’ll find purists wherever you go but there really is enjoyment for any fan in “II”. With the rebirth of a band comes tentative new territory, undiscovered styles and dynamics, a newly realized space for even more growth. Magrudergrind is back up and running and despite adopting some slower rhythms, they show absolutely no signs of slowing down.


II” is available here


Band info: bandcamp || facebook

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