Rumpelstiltskin Grinder - GhostmakerWhere does thrash end and death metal begin? Why am I asking you? Surely I’m supposed to know about this stuff?

Rumpelstiltskin Grinder burst into an unsuspecting world back in 2003 with their charmingly titled live album “Raped By Bears”. Since then their precision thrash metal foundations have evolved slowly towards a more death metal focus whilst still retaining that oh-so-alluring early 80’s bay area sound.

There are a glut of thrash bands out at the moment desperate to recapture the heady days when Exodus, Testament, Death Angel, Metallica and others were honing their craft. Most do it fairly well, but there is a clear blue mile between good and excellent in this overcrowded genre. The difference is quite simple: riffs. Quantity and quality are both key. There are bands with a dozen decent riffs that they feel are sufficient for a dozen songs. There are bands with sacks full of them, but only two are any good (and that’s because both of them were nicked from Sacred Reich anyway).

Thankfully Rumpelstiltskin Grinder have managed to fit approximately 666 riffs into this monster and most of them are rather superb. Veering between fast and very fast with a cheeky black metal undercurrent swirling in various places, notably the title track and ‘A Lurking Thief’.

‘Nightworms’ uses the sadly now rare “one, two, three, four” vocal invitation to mosh, and ‘Cold Haunting Death’ and ‘You’ve Been Had’ show a flair for something a little different  with a subtle nod to Voivod.

Guitarist Ryan Moll recently declared that the album contains:

“Some of the most bone-crushing, graveyard stomping, Frankenstein/Dracula/Wolfman hate-fuck riffage” they have ever written – and he’s not wrong.

This is a furious and inventive album and really does show a leap forward from their previous efforts. The final word on this release must go to six-stringer Matt Moore who sums it up thusly: “We have raised the bar and taken on musical and lyrical concepts that would drive commoners insane”.

Prepare to be maddened all you metal-loving proles.

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