RUMPELSTILTSKIN GRINDER appeared on the scene with their debut album rather quietly back in 2005. Perhaps one of the albums that fore fronted the upcoming second wave of Thrash Metal, I discovered the band through a friend and have been fan ever since. Their sophomore effort, “Living For Death, Destroying The Rest” seemed to also sneak up on me despite being released through the Thrash-signers of last decade, Relapse. Again, I’m not sure why the label and industry are not pumping these guys more, as GRINDER is one of the best modern Thrash acts out there, and their second release is a real gem.
“Living For Death, Destroying The Rest” is one of those releases that combines a lot of great elements together to create a unique and vital blend that will make them stand out. At first I wasn’t catching onto what the GRINDER had going on with this release, but after a handful of spins I have a definite contender for one of the best Thrash albums of 2009.
Combining elements of old School Thrash with some modern elements, RUMPELSTILTSKIN GRINDER has a lot going on from the get go with this latest album. The band has taken their hyper-kinetic attention deficit writing to the next level with this release. Moving at the speed of light for most of the album, the band swiftly throws the entire artillery of Thrash techniques at you without ever losing step. Speed riffs will break down into older Hardcore style chord bashes, the drums will convert the snare driven passages into double-bass neck breaking walls of thunder, and the vocalist covers everything from Punkish barking to your standard Thrash yell. All of this presented with the upmost respect to the Thrash genre.
At first, it’s all a little overwhelming musically, especially when the band starts throwing those spastic leads and solos on top of it all, but when one gets into it suddenly it all starts to make sense. The song writing just takes some getting used to. It’s worth the work though as once you get it; it will become a heavy hitter and a constant player in your musical rotation. The band is insane fun from that moment on and some of the goofier songs will become great sing-a-long tracks (like the riff heavy “Spyborg” or the awesome album opener “Nothing Defeats The Skull”).
RUMPELSTILTSKIN GRINDER still seems to revel in their own underground status on “Living For Death, Destroying The Rest” and although I do believe that the band deserves far more attention then they are getting, I’m more than happy to just sit and listen to the album by myself. Even if it does mean I have to mosh alone in my living room.
Songs to check out: “Nothing Defeats The Skull”, “Brainwasher C. 1655”, and “Spyborg”.
(Online April 20, 2009)