The quartet of years between previous album “Extinction of Humanity” and new release “Underworlds” has certainly not diminished the fury and vitriolic intent of Texans Mammoth Grinder. Their new album “Underworlds” is a barbarous ferocity which assassinates any thoughts of peace and tranquility from its very first savage second through to the last ravenous moment, provoking thoughts and emotions along the way to either join or try to evade its malicious intent, though escape is not an option.
The third album from the Austin based band, it brings another adjustment in the sound of Mammoth Grinder though also in many ways it combines the hearts of its predecessors. Whereas their debut “Rage and Ruin” brought hardcore, punk, and doom meshed presence, “Extinction of Humanity” reaped the seeds of crust fuelled death metal to evolve the original sound. “Underworlds” again rampages with those heavy compelling blackened consumptions but across many songs ignites a swifter lethal aggression which is born of their earliest spices. It makes for a strongly pleasing and confrontational encounter which has no room or time for niceties and mercy, just primal antagonistic power crafted with skill and venom.
The album unleashes some of its finest moments from the start, the opening title track springing from a sonic mist to riff and groove the ear into submission. The guitars of Chris Ulsh and Wade Allison run riot with barbed hooks and acidic grooves that scream contagion as they seduce the senses into slavish ardour whilst the carnivorous bass of Alex Hughes and demanding rhythms of drummer Brian Boeckman rope off any chance of disinterest with a brawl of sinews and rabid predation. It is the kind of song which unites an army stepping into battle, its instinctive anthemic urgency and appetite for conflict insatiable and that is with only bare flashes of vocal animosity from Ulsh stirring things up.
The following ‘Wraparound Eyes’ almost idles into view in comparison to its predecessor but is soon raging with sonic nostrils flaring and rhythmic muscles badgering whilst the vocal squalls scar and bruise with anger and fervour. A constant switch from a sludge like prowl to torrential hardcore helps leaves a feverishly devoured presence for the unpredictable yet accessible fire and though it struggles to keep pace with the first song it continues a very intensive and strong start.
‘Revenge’ and ‘Paragon Pusher’ leave no adversarial stone unturned either, the first with tightly gripping riffs and drums caging the ear for the fine sonic guitar flames to scorch and the second with a tide of barbarously hooked riffs and rapacious grooves which are akin to the first song on the release. Both songs leave lingering cut marks on the emotions whilst the lumbering persuasive weight of ‘Barricades’ and the vindictive tirade of sound and lyrical intent in ‘Cogs In The Machine’ sets the snare of the release at greater depths.
It is at this point though that “Underworlds” arguably slips into its most ruinous intentions but also it’s less magnetic. Through what are all strong and pleasing tracks such as ‘Roperide’ and ‘Breeding’, the release fails to spark the same reception and emotional reaction as before which ultimately sees the album as top heavy, though still an immense draw. “Underworlds” is a tremendous assault upon the senses and one fans of hardcore and grind through to extreme metal will take to with ease.