Glasgow Grin
Saints of the Greatest Sin

I’ve listened to and enjoyed a lot of deathcore over the years-most of it from the genres larger names on larger labels. But one of the smaller gems I discovered was an EP back in 2007 from a Canadian band called Dear Black Diary. Hardly groundbreaking stuff, but solid and well done with a crafty sense of melody, so I was a little disappointed when they broke up after just the single release.

However, three of the band members have resurfaced in Glasgow Grin (another name for a Chelsea Smile-the act of cutting the edges of the mouth to the ears, then kicking the victim in the stomach, making them scream and rip their own face open) and in the words of vocalist Jordan Shortt; ”When Glasgow Grin was created it was our goal to avoid all of the mistakes that we made while in Dear Black Diary”. And they succeeded.

Though not quite as devastating as Canadian ‘Icons’ Despised Icon and Ion Dissonance, Glasgow Grin have certainly put themselves in striking distance with a robust, ferocious debut than has some of the sneaky melody of the Dear Black Diary release, but tightens things up and fleshes things out with more twists, turns and tangents, resulting in one of the under the radar deathcore releases of 2008, but one that fans of the genre really need to check out.

With a loose concept story of a religious serial killer, Saints of the Greatest Sin, as most deathcore does, generally bludgeons, bruises and batters with the intensity and relentlessness of a soccer hooligan gang fight, except at the most unexpected times, the assault veers on into some form of layered, shimmering melody line that’s a perfect complement to the brutality. Opener “Rage Replaces Reason” is a perfect example with a delicate intro leading into a stern deathcore lurch and some almost string sounding backed harmony lines. “Hole Replaces Face” and “Epinephrine” are more typical deathcore squeal and hefty groove delivered with a fierce tightness of their peers. “Remorseless” has an almost black metal canter as does standout “Victims”, with some nifty tremolo picked melodies and blasts amid the hefty deathcore throes. “The Terminal” display more intelligent melodies amid the blistering deathcore attack. I had just hoped that “And Then There Was Nothing..” had a bit more of an epic closing to round out the album and the story.

The only stumbling point might be Shortt’s higher register shrieks, which can be a bit grating and the two interludes “Penance” and “Last Rites”, though they do fit in with albums contrasting religious justice driven themes, they don’t actually add anything. Also producer Jamie King, seems to be back on track with a very precise yet pummeling production, making for a very, very solid release in an other wise contrived genre.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 31st, 2009


  1. Commented by: Stiffy

    ha ha ha! What a horrible thing to do to someone. LOL! Erik wants to do that to someone one day.

  2. Commented by: AIMP

    chelsea grin > glasgow grin

  3. Commented by: SludgeHammer

    A true Chelsea smile involves just cutting the skin ever so slightly in the corner of your lips, then when you gasp for air after the gut-punch you tear your face yourself. It was done to people who snitched on gangsters and was to show the person couldn’t be trusted.

  4. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Hey AIMP- I got the Chelsea Grin EP in the mail yesterday-you might be right- cliched, but heavy as all get out

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