Rumpelstiltskin Grinder
Living for Death, Destroying the Rest

Nearly 4 years is much too long for a follow up to such a bad ass album, that being Rumpelstiltskin Grinder’s (RG) 2005 opus Buried in the Front Yard, an album that knocked me on my ass from the word go. I remember reading a review of it and thinking “this sounds like my kind of stuff, but oh that name…”, then shortly after, seeing it at my local new/used shop. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it because I couldn’t get over that ridiculous name, so I danced around it every time I went in the shop for about three weeks, but finally said “fuck it” and picked it up – glad I did. So fast forward to 2009 and we have the follow up Living for Death, Destroying the Rest (LDDR) – was it worth the wait? I’m happy to report a “hell yes!”

I had my doubts coming in though, as vocalist Eli Shaika is no longer in the group, and bassist Shawn Riley and guitarist Matt Moore have taken over the vocal duties. My doubts were soon put to rest though, as the pair fill Mr. Shaika’s shoes nicely, adding a slightly grittier and at times almost raspy hardcore-ish bark, and a few deathly growls to the mix.

Musically, LDDR is meaner, dirtier thrash beast than it’s predecessor, which is evidenced immediately with opener “Nothing Defeats the Skull”. The song burst out the gate with a shout of “do you want to be immortal?!” and followed by a series of infectious riffs designed to rip flesh. Wild and wiry leads punctuate the opening of “Graveyard Vandalization”, and “Brainwasher C. 1655” has some of the catchiest and flat out fun sounding thrash riffing I’ve ever heard, accompanied by some excellent and soaring solo work. The groove that was so dominant on the debut can be found on LDDR as well, but it’s been scaled back just a bit, scattered in smaller doses throughout most of the tracks on the album, but most noticeably on of “Spyborg” and “Traitor’s Blood”. They touch on more punk-ish/crossover territory on “Beware the Thrash Brigade” before launching into the darker and more sinister sounding “Dethroning the Tyrant” trilogy (“Sewers of Doom”, “Darkness Never Ending” and “Revolution of Underground Legions”, respectively) that closes out the album.

With LDDR, the band has managed to NOT fall in line with the hordes of faceless retro thrash bands that are seemingly coming out of the woodwork. They have done this by not carbon copying the Bay Area sound, instead injecting hints of black and death metal, employing generally busier drum work with blast beats littered all throughout the album and of course adding an ample amount of groove. Of all the new wave thrash bands, I can honestly say that RG have put their own unique spin on things, and should be checked out if you have in interest in thrash at all.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
March 9th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    fun band. great live.

  2. Commented by: Redstar

    I wonder how many great bands I’ve passed on just because of the absurd name. I wonder if this will be one of them.

  3. Commented by: Vance

    Is Hastings your local shop by any chance?… Haha, I havent been there in like 5 years or longer, but I do remember that is where I got my first two Opeth albums, Morningrise and Still Life. They had a pretty good metal selection for a brick and mortar store…. as far as Rumpel goes, these guys are pretty good, I will be checking this new one out for sure, thanks for the great review.

  4. Commented by: Staylow

    Hastings is my major chain that I go to, because they stock more metal than other places, but the store I’m referencing here is a small local/regional chain called Slackers CD’s and Games.

  5. Commented by: Vance

    Haha, I live in Columbia, just a hop, skip and a jump from you guys, we have a Slackers here as well.

  6. Commented by: Staylow

    No shit? Always nice to meet/hear from other metal fans in the area! If we ever get another decent metal show at The Blue Note, we might have to hook up for a couple beers and shoot the shit.

    I remember going to Columbia almost solely for a visit to Slackers before we got one here in JC, because they always had/have good used stuff around.

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