Rumpelstiltskin Grinder - Living For Death, Destroying The Rest
Relapse Records
Thrash Metal
10 songs (43:39)
Release year: 2009
Rumpelstiltskin Grinder , Relapse Records
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

With a surprisingly original sound and style, there’s more than enough that’s interesting about Rumpelstiltskin Grinder to lift them above the current wave of identikit Thrash bands. In very simple terms a mixture of 80s Thrash stalwarts like Anthrax and crossover Thrash/Hardcore bands like Minor Threat, this is the second album from the Philadelphians after 2005’s Buried In The Back Yard. You can tell that the band have improved on that almost immediately; the brief and annoying intro aside, Nothing Defeats The Skull soon turns into a diverse and fun Thrash song with just a hint of Metalcore. There are excellent riffs galore, here and throughout the album; melodic riffs, chugging Thrash riffs, ominious, almost Melodeath riffs... all mixed together effectively to create a bunch of songs that’ll take a few listens to enjoy fully but aren’t needlessly complex. Graveyard Vandalisation is a speed-of-light Thrasher the likes of which hasn’t been heard since the last good Slayer album, whilst Brainwasher C. 1655 isn’t afraid to take some influence from melodic Black and Death Metal before an awesome mosh section that The Haunted would be impressed with.

It’s surprising just how different Living For Death, Destroying The Rest can be from your average identikit Thrashers. Songs like Fiends In The Mountains, Ghouls In The Valley are surprisingly melodic and technical, the Hardcore influence coming through thick and clear, and Spyborg takes a slightly more epic approach, strange electronic noises behind the riffs adding bucketloads of atmosphere. And hey, just in case you’d forgotten, the riffs are excellent, as are the solos. Other members of the band are just as stellar – Patrick Battaglia provides a variety of beats and even a bit of blasting here and there, whilst vocalist/bassist Shawn Riley provides a great low end, but to be honest his vocals aren’t the best around. The guitarwork (provided by Ryan Moll and XXX Maniak’s Matt Moore) is stellar enough to ignore minor gripes, but if there’s a weak element present it’s definitely the vocals.

Even for a relative Thrashophobe like myself, there’s plenty to enjoy. The band has a fairly original sound in today’s scene, and whilst it seems like most haven’t heard of them, a bit more promotion on Relapse’s part will cure that. Let’s face it, they’re not the smallest label in town, and there’s a lot of respect for them, straddling the underground and overground Metal world as they do. And what better home for Rumpelstiltskin Grinder? Come on, how many Thrash bands out there finish their albums with a triple-part epic like Dethroning The Tyrant, which contains more ideas in a single section than most modern Thrash bands can produce in a three album run. Support the best and ignore the rest; Rumpelstiltskin Grinder have made the greatest Thrash album of 2009 so far, and considering that it’s even better than most of the Thrash released in 2008, this deserves your attention.

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Killing Songs :
Nothing Defeats The Skull, Brainwasher C.1655, Spyborg, Traitor’s Blood, Dethroning The Emperor
Goat quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Rumpelstiltskin Grinder that we have reviewed:
Rumpelstiltskin Grinder - Ghostmaker reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
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