Wednesday 23 October 2013

Mammoth Grinder - Underworlds (Album Review)

Underworlds cover art

Album Type :  Full Length
Date Released :  23/7/2013
Label :  20 Buck Spin

UNDERWORLDS, track listing :

1. Underworlds
2. Wraparound Eyes
3. Revenge
4. Paragon Pusher
5. Barricades
6. Cogs In The Machine
7. Roperide
8. Breeding
9. Born In A Bag
10. Moral Crux

Bio :

It’s been nearly four years since the last MAMMOTH GRINDER full length Extinction Of Humanity was released via Relapse Records (CD) and Cyclopean Records (LP). That album showcased the band’s direction into a distinctly death metal permutation, full of aggression and punk rawness. The band continued in this spirit on 2011’s split LP with fellow Austin, Texas-based Hatred Surge. Now in 2013, after much anticipation, MAMMOTH GRINDER has found a home on 20 Buck Spin for the release of their wildly destructive third full length album Underworlds.

Underworldsmarks a peak at which MAMMOTH GRINDER have sharpened and perfected their sound into a seething grind/death/thrash maelstrom of intense degree; unrelenting in its concentrated raw precision and focused power, Underworlds careens violently through ten tracks with effortless versatility and the fixated songcraft expected of a band on their third record. Tracks like “Wraparound Eyes” with its Unleashed style mid-section or the short sharp shock of “Paragon Pusher” illustrate MAMMOTH GRINDER’s mastery over multiple variations of metal to assemble their own sound. Fans of Entombed, Pig Destroyer, Municipal Waste, Discharge, Napalm Death and Iron Lung will beat themselves into submission for missing out on this album, so do yourself a favor, and don’t miss out on it...

The Band :

Alex Hughes | Bass
Brian Boeckman | Drums
Chris Ulsh | Guitars, Vocals
Wade Allison | Guitars

Review :

I should probably just end this review after the band name. I cannot write anything to possibly add to just how fucking awesome that band name is. This is an exercise in absolute futility.  That shit sells itself. If you want to read on, you totally can, but I wouldn't blame you if you'd already closed this page and were attempting to buy a copy of 'Underworlds' based solely on that alone.

Anyways, here goes.

Added to a monicker that obviously graduated from the Charles Bronson school for Badasses is the fact that Mammoth Grinder play Entombed style death n' roll metal/punk, and they're really good at it too. More punch than a bag full of Mike Tyson's, and filthier than a bag full of used hypodermic needles.

The self-titled opening track bursts out of the gates like it cut the wrong wire on a timebomb. Frothing at the mouth and wild-eyed. Them riffs, people. Them riffs indeed...

'Wraparound Eyes' is a lesson in violence, and when it drops into that slow and calculating chug at the midpoint you know it's only thinking of new and improved ways to hurt you. Classic death-style playing keeps the theme satisfyingly dirty too.

The band slow things down a bit for 'Barricades', but it's no less a punch to the throat. If anything it serves to intensify things even more (if that's even possible so far with this record). The backbeat comes into its own here, like an anchor. Or some ropes that are effectively tying a dude to a chair. Rock steady and rigid. These ain't no Bond villain ropes, no sir - you cannot escape the dirge and despair on offer here. Really fantastic stuff.

Which brings us logically to my favourite cut on the record, the magnificence that is 'Roperide'. It really is the best representation to me of what Grinder are aiming to achieve throughout Underworlds, something storming and truly heavy, while retaining that key death/punk hybrid.  It features a main riff that most acts would sell theirs and their grandmother's kitten's soul to the man downstairs for. Sorry Tiddles, but it's THAT damn good. Slow but steady, embraced by a sweet beat, and when it does that droning thing? Forget about it, I'm gone baby. A collapsed wreck of no use to anybody, not even as a human draft excluder of some kind.

'Underworlds' is pure anger and total rage throughout, whether the pace is ballistic or sedate. It's crazy good, more than just a band name too. Like a missile to the nose, it'll win you over or kill you trying. You'll probably need a neck brace of some kind, or at worst a tombstone after too much indulgence, but fuck it - somethings gonna get you in the end, right?

Might as well be death by riffs.

Words by : Matt Fitton

You can buy it here


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