Over the past decade extreme metal has seen a surge of crust punk influenced records hoping to harness the riotous abandon of crust and inspire with raw energetics. The issue that arises repeatedly with adding ‘crust’ to your adjectives is that a lot of folks misunderstand the difference between 80’s hardcore punk, classic UK crust punk, and the decades of crust permutations since. To delineate why Filth of Mankind is crust, and why Hopelorn is vaguely crust influenced, is important so that crust punk doesn’t simply become a buzzword for d-beat (yes, a crust sub-qualifier) in metal. Mammoth Grinder’s second album ‘Underworlds’ absolutely elevated the dynamics of modern crust heroes like Hellshock‘s ‘Shadows of the Afterworld’ using the sonic boost that death metal provides to incredible effect; alternately, ‘Cosmic Crypt’ sits back a bit and channels Autopsy more than anything else.
Ulsh and friends did such a good job capturing the sound of d-beat on their Impalers full-length last year that it almost sounds like Mammoth Grinder’s third wasn’t conceptually sound enough before they executed it. Discharge influenced drumming has been used to great effect in death metal since it’s inception; from Nihilist to Black Breath it has provided mid-paced sections and punkish blasts to records that would be otherwise stiff-necked without it. The trouble with ‘Cosmic Crypt’ is that it lacks so much of the dynamic talent provided by former (original) drummer Brian Boeckman that it ends up sounding more like a highly polished Autopsy influenced band that can’t really keep up with similar albums by groups like Anatomia, Usurpress and Bombs of Hades.
There are plenty of ripping moments on ‘Cosmic Crypt’, though. “Servant of the Most High” conjures a punk rock High on Fire for some raging throaty riffs, “Superior Firepower” is one of the catchiest death metal songs I’ve heard in years, and “Rotting Robes” has a few surprising riff changes that made it stick out in my mind on the second half of the record. The trouble is that the band is so locked into the d-beat for every song that it all sort of blends together into one mid-paced, buzzing jog. Overall this was an album I really wanted to love, but it was ultimately a pretty looking LP without a ton of spirited ideas. The production sound is cool enough, and it goes a long way, but filler tracks dominate what is an already short experience that doesn’t measure up to the memorable depths of ‘Underworlds’ and ‘Extinction of Humanity’ before it.
|Released||January 26, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on their Bandcamp!||Follow Mammoth Grinder on Facebook|
|Genres||Death Metal, D-Beat|
Down to grains of sand. 3.0/5.0
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