Christgrinder – Smoke Crack, Worship Satan (EP)

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Review by Jason Guest

“Smoke Crack, Worship Satan”. OTT and tongue-in-cheek, though the title may not inspire confidence in the EP, the music contained within will assuage any doubts you may have. The intro to ‘The Faceless Monarch’ slowly pours from the speakers, a suitably dark and dramatic opening that gives way to a doom-laden passage layered with blackly melodic guitar lines. When the songs kicks in, its harsh and scathing, a rancid acid-ball of vehement filth. The title track is black metal majesty, the riffs cutting, the melodies punishing, and the atmospheric passages are haunting. With the repetition of a hypnotic bass-line layered with symphonic keys (courtesy of Gemma Lawless of Dakesis) and twisted arpeggios, the track becomes grander as it develops. ‘Nietzschenesis’ relies more on the guitar for its depth, the lines being rabidly intense blasts of fury. ‘Angelflesh Tapestry’ is suitably ugly, the misshapen and distorted riffs are maniacal and as grimly rich as the title suggests. And ‘The Grinding of the Christ’ has more of the punishing riffs delivered with a furiously intense vocal line that is unremitting in its attack.

With lots of black and lots of death in the toxic mix with hints of doom and suggestions of symphonic here and there, there’s not the vaguest hint of cliché or caricature. A trap easily fallen foul of by those attempting to create something original, Christgrinder manage to circumnavigate that minefield with ease. The heavy, solid compositions are both brutal and melodic, with rivers of malice flowing through the atmospheric aggression. Well-produced, the sound quality could have been better but for a release from an unsigned band, it’s much better than most, and at times it adds a murky edge to the tracks that complements the atmospherics. It’s difficult to say which of the tracks is the best as the quality of the writing here is outstanding. Album, please.

8 out of 10

Track Listing:

The Faceless Monarchy
Smoke Crack, Worship Satan
Nietzschenesis
Angelflesh Tapestry
The Grinding Of The Christ

Line-up:

Baron von Christgrinde – vocals, guitar
Cardinal Sinne – vocals, bass, drums

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