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Soul Grinder – Lifeless Obsession

Soul Grinder
Lifeless Obsession
by Paul LaPlaca at 01 August 2021, 12:02 PM

“Lifeless Obsession” marks the third album from Bremen, Germany’s SOUL GRINDER. The guitar tone, mix/ production, and writing/ musicianship is direct and focused. The mix is crystal clear and ultra-tight. Mastering is punchy without being overly compressed and flat. Nicely done. The songwriting is dynamic and advanced with quiet breaks and a good balance between blast beats and straight-ahead drumming.

“Night’s Band (Nyktophobia)” kicks off with a blast and the chord work above at half-tempo that gives the verse a fantastic open feel. The chorus comes in with solid double bass drumming and a surprisingly catchy hook with a ghostly choir over the top. The vocals are deep and throaty with occasionally vicious snarls and a judicious use of doubling and layering that adds a serious impact to the songs. Three quarters of the way through, they break down into a slow grind, and slowly build the intensity again over a trance-inducing chord pattern. Overall, the whole EP sticks to really direct and memorable guitar parts while shifting drum patterns to drive the song forward in a really satisfying way.

“Mercyful Fate” begins with a strangled sounding guitar part before launching into a driving rock beat, the tones are thick and perfectly compliment the band’s approach. Drums are silky smooth on the high end and sample-perfect on the kick and snare. Vocals are articulate and for the most part easily understood. This track has a lot of variety in tempo and beats as it seamlessly transitions from moshable headbangers to groove-centric,  fist-pumping mania complete with gang vocals.

A METALICA inspired, crunchy chord pattern introduces, “Terradeformer” before settling into a big, open, triplet feel verse. This transitions into a quick blast-beat break with rapid picked single lines. They never settle into one section for too long, choosing to move rapidly from one musical idea to another at a solid pace, never giving the listener a chance to grow bored or lose interest. Another clean break comes in with choir vocals that sound very organic and live, not like most standard sample libraries or keyboard patches.

An almost spanish sounding acoustic guitar part starts, “Lifeless Obsession” the fifth and final track of this EP before literally exploading into the verse. Not sure if it’s a thunder sample or just a hint of distortion as the band breaks in but it’s really effective. Lead guitar breaks are oddly underwhelming given the technical level of the rhythm guitar parts but they are short and fit the songs.

Overall, this is an exceptionally well-written album full of dynamic and interesting changes from section to section without being self-indulgent and overly complicated. Production and mix are outstanding giving just enough pollish to feel modern and updated but not too hyped or glossy.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Night’s Bane (Nyktophobia)
2. Mercyful Fate
3. Terradeformer
4. A Worm’s Repast
5. Lifeless Obsession
Lineup:
Mathias Junge – Vocals/Bass
Jan Resmer – Guitar
Maté "Balrogh" Balogh – Drums
Record Label: MDD Records
     


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