Mammoth Grinder has just broken into metal's big leagues, signing to major label Relapse Records for the release of their latest bastard child, Cosmic Crypt. The band signed the deal on the strength of prior releases for various smaller labels, all of them making quite a stir in the DIY market. Their cassette releases and splits have now become much-sought-after. No one saw the Relapse deal coming though.
It's a bonafide win for the guys from Power Trip, Iron Reagan and Darkest Hour, which make up the ranks of this group. The band is a legend in their home of Austin, TX, and their rounds in New York's St. Vitus Bar are viewed frequently on YouTube. They play an old-school influenced d-beat-heavy death metal style that is infectious and mosh- inspiring. Their brand of songwriting is catchy, very headbangable, and can even be enjoyed as background music, provided you like this degree of intensity for ambiance.
Mammoth Grinder is on form on Cosmic Crypt, but it is not, in my opinion, the best music they've released, despite being a worthy addition to their body of work. The riffs are catchy enough, and drummer Ryan Parrish never disappoints, but the songs themselves aren't quite as memorable as some of their past mosh-masterpieces. Still, fans who want to find out what all the fuss is about will find Cosmic Crypt to be a good starting point to get into the band. In addition, they have two slower songs on the album that could have been left off in favor of an all-out approach on intensity.
Some of the songs on Cosmic Crypt are frighteningly energizing. I was air-guitaring and cymbal smashing like a maniac for the first three songs, but then, the songwriting doesn't feature the sort of mastery that the guys have shown on their past full-length albums, and it allows respite. You are, however, likely to pick up your imaginary guitar and drumsticks when the band go full-throttle again.
It's largely a matter of preference with this band's repertoire. They're so good, it's hard for them to go wrong. They don't do that on Cosmic Crypt, nor do they on any of their other releases, but I'm largely content to wait for the band's landmark release - which the band is close to figuring out. They are capable of an end-of-year list top three record, should they be at their creative prowess, and as fans we welcome whatever they release from now on.
Cosmic Crypt Track Listing:
02. Servant of the Most High
03. Blazing Burst
04. Divine Loss
06. Superior Firepower
07. Human Is Obsolete
08. Locust’s Nest
10. Rotting Robes
11. Cosmic Crypt