ne of the pioneers of Power metal, Gamma Ray, led for over 2 decades by guitar mastermind Kai Hansen (also known from fellow countrymen and co-pioneers Helloween), releasing genre-defining classics such as “Heading For Tomorrow” (1990) and “Land Of The Free” (1995), are being reviewed this time.
[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 8
Label: 20 Buck Spin
Author: Kostas Tsotsanis[/colored_box]
The first thing someone notices when he/she listens to Mammoth Grinder and especially ‘Underworlds’, is that you can barely put a label on this band. I can easily point out the crust elements, but however the music is brutally loaded with old-school death metal elements and thrash elements. Mammoth Grinder did an excellent work on combining all those music genres and the result is satisfactory. To sum up, we have a record that approaches crust punk and hardcore punk through an old-school death metal prism, reaching even the primitive thrash metal or black metal.
Musically speaking, the tracks of the record are speedy and thrashing. Bounded with extreme vocals and hardcore elements, the band plays low in minute tracks. There are loads of groovy break-downs and some sludge metal riffs that are perfectly combined with the extreme metal and thrash outbursts, which the band has used in ‘Underworlds’. The vocals remind me of some crust punk bands but after some thinking, I can definitely feel the death metal influences through them. As a result, I tend to believe that this record and the band in overall can be enjoyed almost by everyone, regardless the music genre in favor.
‘Moral Crux’ and ‘Barricades’ for example, all use some sludge metal riffs combined with breakdowns and faster parts. To be honest, ‘Moral Crux’ is my favorite track of the record. On the other hand, songs like ‘Cogs in the Machine’ or ‘Paragon Pusher’ approach a thrash style of music, with speedy parts and less punk elements. There are plenty of guitar solos too, like in the track ‘Underworlds’, the opening track of the record. The length of the disc is as much as needed and you won’t get bored and lost in the music. Additionally, I believe the recordings needed some clearer sound, but I’m not disappointed at all by the production of ‘Underworlds’. Last but not least, I must admit that Brian Boeckman, the drummer of Mammoth Grinder, is a beast behind his drum set. You can feel his energy flowing through every moment.
‘Underworlds’ is an awesome record and one of the most enjoyable for a music scene that tends to repeat itself. Mammoth Grinder gave a strong lesson about how the past is combined with the present, 00’s extreme music with old- school elements, and the record exhales freshness and power.
|Track List||Line Up||01. Underworlds
02. Wraparound Eyes
04. Paragon Pusher
06. Cogs in the Machine
09. Born in a Bag
10. Moral Crux
|Chris Ulsh: Guitar, Vocals
Alex Hughes: Bass
Wade Allison: Guitar
Brian Boeckman: Drums