Mammoth Grinder return with 30 minutes of raging, crust-fueled death metal on their fourth full-length album, Cosmic Crypt.
Since 2005, Austin’s Mammoth Grinder, along with mastermind Chris Ulsh (Power Trip, Hatred Surge, etc), has been a formidable force within the Texas metal and hardcore scenes. Whether it be sludge-tinged hardcore (Rage and Ruin, 2008), death-infused prehistoric crust (Extinction of Humanity, 2009), or buzzsaw death (Underworlds, 2013), Mammoth Grinder deliver a catchy and heavy-hitting time with each release. Though the band’s output has dwindled in recent years, they remain an influential figure and talks of new material is met with a good amount of anticipation, which is where Cosmic Crypt comes in.
Cosmic Crypt picks up where 2013’s Underworlds left off stylistically. The beautiful marriage between crust and death metal is revisited in all its gritty and grimy glory, and subsequently turned up to 11. Joining Ulsh this time around is guitarist Mark Bronzino (Iron Reagan) and drummer Ryan Parrish (Iron Reagan, ex-Darkest Hour), whose influence can definitely be felt in the album’s 11 rampaging tracks. Flesh-ripping riffs, blazing solos, punishing rhythms and groove aplenty can be found on this LP.
The record kicks off with a brief intro of cosmic noise before “Grimmenstein” officially comes galloping out of the interstellar haze. This track is full of tremolo-picked grooves that thunder menacingly above Parrish’s seismic rhythmic presence, and is spearheaded by Ulsh’s cavernous yell that echoes across the metallic beatdown below. This assault bleeds into another titled “Servant of the Most High”, which proves to be more violent than its predecessor. The track conjures a plethora of crushing riffs that weave in-and-out of throttling thrash and hardcore chords, and ripping death metal licks. The end result of these two tracks is a pretty battered and bruised listener.
In addition to tremolo-picked brutality, cuts like “Divine Loss” and “Human Is Obsolete” craft lurching, sludgy grooves that stomp like an unfathomable beast. These towering riffs begin these particular tracks and bleed into death metal mayhem, ensuring the latter hits as hard as possible. Then there are high octane songs like “Rotting Robes” and “Cosmic Crypt”, where are comprised solely of barreling rhythms and Hell-spawned guitars which unleash flurries of blistering riffs and solos that cut through listeners like a million sharpened knives.
Cosmic Crypt is a very sonically consistent album. There isn’t much variety to behold on this record, nor is it a surprising direction for Mammoth Grinder. But these aren’t necessarily shortcomings as it is simply the band doing what they do best. Cosmic Crypt is a solid modern death metal album and another win for this Texan act.
Release Date: January 26, 2017
Label: Relapse Records
Favorite Tracks: “Grimmenstein”, “Servant of the Most High”, “Blazing Burst”, “Human Is Obsolete” and “Rotting Robes”
For Fans Of: Gatecreeper, Genocide Pact, Black Breath and Noisem