Fans of Toxic Holocaust should stop smoking weed and crank out the harder stuff, for Philadelphia’s speedy thrashers Rumpelstiltskin Grinder are back with their third full-length studio album, which embodies everything fans of Joel Grind’s solo project will love, only much faster.
The 12-song outing is pretty lengthy considering that it is a thrash metal record, for it clocks in at nearly 46 minutes. But while this lengthiness might please the Toxic Holocaust addicts, fans of thoughtful guitar solos and mid-paced riffs that give their ears plenty of time to fully enjoy every note will not like it as much. If anything, it will be like putting them in a university auditorium to listen to a lecture on classic Chinese literature if they are made to listen to the record at knifepoint.
Song after song, all that will register in the metal-craving portion of the brain is the heavy emphasis on speedy guitar riffs. The riffs are energetic because of their speed, but their rhythmic patterns are too predictable and result in grooves that don’t stick. The guitar solos are typical whammy bar exercises too, and they are too fast and short for them to really stick as well. The vocals are done in the traditional hoarse barking style (thrash metal vocalists need to stop keeping sore throats on purpose… pop some Strepsils!), the bass guitar is seemingly non-existent as usual, and the drums are as awe-inspiring as watching your household mechanical fan’s head sway from left to right, and then right to left, then left to right again and right to left again until an epiphany hits you that your IQ is lower than a common slime-excreting garden slug for even bothering to waste time on such a meaningless activity. For more intriguing and original thrash metal bands, check out Vektor and Revocation.
The band name may be creative and catchy, but it seems that that is all there is that is interesting about Rumpelstiltskin Grinder. Absolutely eye-catching album cover artwork aside, the album name is not fascinating and the album theme, worse. Track titles such as “A Lurking Thief” and “Run Through The Bastards” make references to bad humans, “Nightworms” and “Desert Goblins” make references to fictional creatures, “Ghostmaker”, “Cold Haunting Death” and “Get Out Of My Grave/Gigantic Graveyard” (why this song has two names escapes me) make references to the absolutely fascinating afterlife, and even the usual metal cliché of indicating some shred of rebelliousness is present in the form of “Fucking Wild”.
PR people from all extreme metal labels can have some easy biography writing practice on Rumpelstiltskin Grinder’s latest effort. After all, all they will need to say in one sentence to nail the crux of the biography is “An unrelenting thrash metal attack that will rip faces off”, or something else of that ilk.[Visit the band's website]