Rumplestiltskin Grinder

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]
Written by Dane Prokofiev
June 4th, 2012


  1. Commented by: Staylow

    Fucking love this band. I also love both Vektor and Revocation. Must hear this, asap. I’m sure to enjoy it much more than the reviewer though, it seems.

  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    ultimate live band. still with Eli was there. I once interviewed these dudes for my old radio show while they got loaded in their van. the ensuing conversation was unbroadcastable.

  3. Commented by: Allred

    I haven’t heard any of the new stuff yet, so I won’t bash this review, but I really enjoyed their previous albums and find it hard to believe that this one is not as good. I’m curious if Dane ever heard and/or liked their other albums.

  4. Commented by: CLG

    Having had a promo of this album for a few weeks, I couldn’t possibly disagree with this review more. The reviewer’s problem is that he entered the review wanting a thrash metal record and when that wasn’t what he got, he didn’t like it. The album certainly has thrash elements but the vocals are more reminiscent of a black metal band than anything else and the riffs are more Absu-meets-Mercyful Fate than Metallica. It’s difficult to place this band and particularly this album in any one genre because it is extremely varied; however, I think that the review is fundamentally flawed because the reviewer went in with expectations that couldn’t be met.

  5. Commented by: Dane Prokofiev

    My review is “fundamentally flawed” just because I “went in with expectations that couldn’t be met”? I couldn’t disagree with you more too. That’s almost like saying someone’s belief in, say, the Christian God is fundamentally flawed because they went into it knowing that they will never be able to prove that such a divine being exists. But, see? That’s only my point of view.

    Dude, if you are a reviewer yourself, you should know that every reviewer hears things differently and has their own kind of “subjective objectivity”. You are implying that I am not being objective enough, but there is really no such thing as objectivity in the tricky business of reviewing. You might hear more black metal influences in this band than me, and so be it. That’s your point of view, and as long as you can justify it with reasonable evidence, go write a review of this album yourself and post it somewhere. I’m sure there will be people who agree with you.

    Angry Metal Guy has a very good article on the impossible ideal that is “objectivity”. You can read it here:

  6. Commented by: CLG

    Of course I get that total objectivity isn’t exactly possible, but my feeling was that you went into this with expectations that weren’t reasonable. It’s not like saying someone’s belief in the Christian God is fundamentally flawed because they won’t be able to prove it, it’s like eating a piece of pepperoni pizza and then complaining, “Man, those olives were terrible!” There were not olives on your pizza, there were pepperonis and it may have been the best pepperoni pizza ever, but you wouldn’t know it because you wanted to insist it was olive and by that standard, is can do nothing but let you down.

    That is the most absurd analogy I could think of. I’m sorry. Point is, I think that an album should be judged on its own merits. The feeling I have is that you very much wanted something other than what you got and it was that expectation, not the presence or lack of objectivity, that let you down.

    Doesn’t really matter. Not my battle to fight. This album is fantastic. FTW.

  7. Commented by: krustster

    Yeah this album is really good, and I too must agree that it was badly reviewed. At least everyone is being relatively civil about it.

  8. Commented by: Dane Prokofiev

    Krustster, are you new to reading the opinions of other people? I am sure you are aware that just because you think that an album is “good” and a reviewer disagrees with your opinion, that doesn’t mean that the review is “bad”. In fact, the whole reviewing business is really just stuff that people make up in an attempt to explain that simple gut feeling they get about the stuff they like or not; so there isn’t really a “good” or “bad” way to review stuff. And if you’re here reading it in the first place, you must have already known that, right? Right?

    I appreciate your civility, though.

  9. Commented by: krustster

    I just don’t get it. I mean you specifically said the bass was seemingly nonexistent, but on a lot of songs the bass plays a really prominent role, like “Nightworms” and “Dripping With Venom” and…well, most of the songs, really. Not to mention this choice quote, “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.” Maybe the drums aren’t mindblowing to you but that’s a really ridiculous way to describe it. It’s not like they’re just playing a straight rock beat the whole time or something.

    Also only one paragraph actually describes the music and it’s just “vocals are bad, guitars are predictable, no bass, drums are boring.” Two of them are simply saying “you won’t like this, but record labels will pretend it is good.” The other main paragraph is just picking on the song titles. So yeah, I mean it’s okay that you don’t like it, but I just don’t see this as a very well-done review.

  10. Commented by: krustster

    Let me reiterate, it’s okay that you didn’t dig the tape, I just didn’t dig the review and if I hadn’t heard this album before, reading it wouldn’t tell me very much.

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