Natron
Grindermeister

Italy’s Natron sure aren’t getting exhausted. Grindermeister is one aggressive hellion that goes far beyond the run of the mill take on deathgrind; the urgency of the tempo variations and tight as fuck subtleties in these songs stoutly backs up the fact that this band has been refining their approach and observing the Death Metal scene long enough to know how to perfectly integrate groove, technicality, melody and schizophrenic desecration, all rolled into one single bullet up the eye.

The fact that this album goes to such great lengths to keep variation on the dial gives the listening experience a full bodied and persuasive effectiveness, which is exactly the element a death metal record needs to make a real difference and remain an influential point of reference over time. There’s plenty of deathgrind releases to sink our teeth into, hitting the shelves absolutely every day – it has to be said, though, that not every single endeavor reaches a real culminating point, in the midst of this ever-growing scene. A compact, entertaining, and sufficiently experimental record like this one is bound to grab a large crowd by the skin of the neck with a hold strong enough to create a couple shock waves in the brain and bring new fans on board while at it.

Both ”Morgue Feast” and ”Leechlord” are intoxicating and mesmeric as it gets with ape drumming, and infatiguable rhythm sections. The second cut particularly struck me with its very creative melodic tempo shifts. ”Quarantine of Leprosy” is the ultimate mammoth out of those three first slabs of psychotic goodness, going at this insane fucking speed while incorporating well-constructed grooves and intricate, uncluttered tech passages. The way this song’s nuances are cleverly distributed along its structure really make the most face melting bits stand out in a three-dimensional and slicing way, and that corrosive solo laying on one blindingly sick and neck-breaking drum pattern around the 3:27 minute mark is a thing of speech-robbing beauty. Fourth cut ”Flesh of a Sick Virgin” doesn’t show signs of wear at all, being aptly schizophrenic and thunderous – nevertheless, ”The Stake Crawlers” stands out even more. Not only is its main riff malevolent and instantly likeable as it fleshes itself out at ’bout the same time the vocals step in; the overall framework is very rich, demented, and chaotic. This is a stand-out track that got me stopping and thinking of the epicness of one Immolation. It calls the shots in terms of utilizing melodies that are bound to stay with you after the very first listen.

”Undead Awake” didn’t strike me as relentlessly original; still, it’s a rabid cut, and does reach a point of bold greatness around mid-track with some more superbly vicious drum work from Mark Marzocca’s end. ”Elmer the Exhumer” sticks its neck out with a stylishly invigorated and singular structure. The experimental prog section around the 3:00 minute-mark is definitely a rad handful. The way less than merciful evisceration rooms alongside this type of very contrasting approach is quite fresh-sounding and interesting once the initial skepticism fades. ”Dead Shall Rise” is definitely more traditional with a format of brutality that doesn’t let up for a shadow of a split second.

In this picture, there’s no room for a single raincheck – Natron are sure going all out with imposing and maddening efficiency. This is going a zillion miles an hour with the full intent to try its hand at playing things out with a good sense of unconventionality. Credit will go where it’s greatly due.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Noch
May 11th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: RichF

    Great album musically but how could you not mention the absolutely horrid mastering job. There’s more clipping going on on this recording than at my local Supercuts. Hard to listen to.


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