Someone's been raiding the toolshed again, they've nicked anything that can be classed as abrasive and/or percussive and then run off to create merry havoc.
THE GRIEVING PROCESS trap the unwary from the off, anyone expecting some woe and behold Emo-tinged weeping or Gothic fluff by virtue of the moniker is going to find their ears flapping hopelessly on the ground as soon as “Assimilated Deformation” powers up. This is unrelenting, needling Death Metal that scrawls across the soundscape like a hopelessly blunt drill across forged steel, the chop found elsewhere within the genre is nowhere to be found, here we are talking acid syringe attack as tortured riffs slash and burn.
The accessibility laws are well and truly given the fuck off pill on this album, this is plain nasty, it's a case of “Eh tu, Brutus?” as the knives are drawn and the stabbing begins. The flay of the guitar prevails throughout, I presume that this lot have worked in an abattoir at some point, however there are breakdowns that punctuate the more incisive sections with some heavy stomp. With guitars spiralling off well into the extreme it is naturally incumbent upon the drums to follow suit and kick up a cacophony, I'm happy to report that an unholy barrage can indeed be blamed fairly and squarely on the skins. The furious abuse levelled at the snare and its ensemble brings tears to the eye, though tempos will trip the speed guns throughout, there are moments where a brisk tattoo takes over until out of radar range and then it's turbo time again.
Despite the outwardly brutal impression, this album has a degree of skewed intricacy, the guitar-work has an almost improvised feel to it, the lead weaves a dread tapestry of unpleasantness and the drums for all the blast have a King Kong does Jazz vibe to them. Despite these finer aspects, “Assimilated Deformation” retains a mammoth heaviness even if it finds itself skittering across glacial ice. The vocals also ensure that this remains a serious business, the gruff growls often veer towards a deep squeal but stay well away from the comical. The straight delivery benefits the whole by adding an earnest aspect to the music, it says this is how it is, it's like a documentary rather than trying for shock value.
It takes several listens for the album to open out, on first listen the songs lack a separate identity but gradually the nuances are revealed and the canker within exposed, for example, in short order the bulldozing bass also makes itself known, hardly prominent but certainly essential, its flat rumble acts as steel reinforcement to the concrete sound. This is quite a short album but it leaves an impact, don't leave it unattended in your car stereo though, you might be coming back to a wreck.
(Online November 19, 2007)