Genre: Death Metal
Label: Relapse Records
One thing Mammoth Grinder know very well, is to choose artwork for their albums, as each and every one of their releases is just a sight to see for some time, before even going to the music. The band rose to fame with a mixture of crust / hardcore and death metal almost a decade ago and “Cosmic Crypt” is their now fourth full length release. It has the same title as a demo they released in 2014, which also featured the self-titled track, but it took four years for them to process new material into a record, which is the follow up to the very entertaining “Underworlds” of 2013.
“Cosmic Crypt” doesn’t surpass the thirty minute mark as it often happens with Mammoth Grinder, who like creating short compositions of 1 – 2 or 3 minutes duration. The mainman of the band, Chris Ulsh, is also involved in the successful Power Trip, while the new album features Iron Reagan members too, taking steps towards the title of a “super group” maybe. Despite the short length of the tracks, they don’t really speed up at any time, instead they are compiled of primitive, sludgy, punk / death metal riffs and constant cavernal growls. A solo may show up, but it’s mainly out of the most basic ingredients, aiming to direct effectiveness.
For that reason, the album is easy to follow and accurate, despite its simplistic approach. The riffs are very heavy, flow nicely and the overall heaviness is there for its whole half hour. No rough edges can be found and the same tempo is kept, what the experienced musicians involved wanted to make in the first place. However, I can’t help but mention some objections on the project regarding some of its aspects. The production in “Cosmic Crypt” is very natural and provides a clean sound, but still it gave me the impression of the instruments being a bit distant from each other.
I can’t really pinpoint any special moment in the album, as it is at a certain level in its entirety and doesn’t walk away from the pattern of standard heavy riffing, yet it doesn’t hit nearly as hard as the band’s two previous records. In fact, at some points I thought that the band was holding back for some reason and in general, I expected bolder musical statements from them. I really like the negativity exerted from the subjects of the record and it is in its nature, a raw album. Yet, I felt no punch in the face as it has happened before with Mammoth Grinder.
In “Cosmic Crypt”, I have mixed feelings about the drum work other than all the rest. Their sound is great and I like drums to sound in an album, yet their non compound variety doesn’t give the record the push it needs. As a whole, it feels a bit empty. For an instance, I thought I switched to All Pigs Must Die’s “The Blessed Void” with the common bleeping sound in the introduction of “Superior Firepower”, but again, other stuff happen over here.
All in all, I recognize Mammoth Grinder as a band taking steps and not writing the same record again and again, and “Cosmic Crypt” has its quality. It isn’t as brutal as I had expected and a rather frail demonstration of the capabilities of its members. The album isn’t failing, probably its just failing me and I’m not going to come back to it this year, or in general when in the mood for the band.