Mammoth Grinder – Underworlds (2013)

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When people mention combining death metal and hardcore punk, thoughts instantly flicker to the often bashed deathcore genre, however with Mammoth Grinder this combination eschews that sound and follows the left hand path similar to bands combining sick concoctions of crust punk and death metal. The interesting aspect about Mammoth Grinder is that their original musical formula was sludge/hardcore punk, which was switched up to a Swe-death (less HM2 worship) with hardcore punk and some remnants of their sludgy days on their 2009 album and continued through to this release.

What comes out of this mixing pot of genres is some damn bloody good music though and Mammoth Grinder flirt with heavy groove laden, down tuned sludge riffs and old school Swedish death metal riffs (the sort that have crusty hardcore punk filtered into them like a double shot espresso), d-beat drumming patterns (as well as standard but high quality death metal drumming), audible and groove laden bass as well as vocals that could easily draw comparisons to a more refined but still aggressive version of Ringworm’s vocals. This comparison to Ringworm’s vocals holds the key strength to the vocals; they’re pissed off and retain that grimy hardcore tinge to them but manage to hold some level of sophistication and intelligibility. Being able to hear the emphasis on the pissed off pronunciation of ‘the fucking crunch’ for example adds an extra layer of viciousness to the vocals. The death metal riffs are perfectly dark and grinding and are given much of their weight by the aforementioned heavy, audible bass. When all these elements are combined with the high quality song writing the listener is some extremely groove laden, visceral death/hardcore punk that’ll get them head banging easily.

The album works grandly in its design; it sits at just under 30 minutes for 10 tracks and musically Mammoth Grinder is addicting, aggressive and there are barely any weak spots on the album (due to both the short run time and the significantly good song writing). What is probably an interesting (though minor) positive aspect to the band is the fact that the hardcore punk elements of Mammoth Grinder are easily comparable to death metal bands with more crusty elements (aside from the already in place d-beats) in the way these elements usher in a dirty layer of punk grime that doesn’t scream of teen angst getting a throttle on its first extreme metal record.

The production on the album is great as well; all the instruments are audible and add the right kind of atmosphere to the album through their positioning in the mix.

All in all this album is highly recommended to anyone craving a good solid chuck of aggressive death/hardcore punk that could easily sit on the same throne as the top tier crusty death metal albums of recent years.

 

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