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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CD Review: Grief of War - A Mounting Crisis... As Their Fury Got Released

Grief of War - A Mounting Crisis... As Their Fury Got Released
2008 Prosthetic Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

One thing about the Japanese; if they didn't invent it already, they're damned fine students who frequently demonstrate their knowledge of an existing concept in entertainingly affluent fashion. Boris still remains the coolest band on the planet, while Balzac has proven to be more than capable with their Misfits-bred punk aesthetics. Back in the eighties, Loudness was considered one of the premiere underground metal bands on the scene while E-Z-O followed suit but sadly lost their instant recognition. Into the metal fold with their proclaimed "Samurai Crunch" comes Tokyo's Grief of War, and as silly as that rally banner sounds, this band demonstratively embodies a front line of slashing wakizashi through thrash patterns, power grooves and wicked guitar work on their debut album A Mounting Crisis: As Their Fury Got Released.

While the principles of classic thrash are being excavated and reimagined by a new generation of speed freak acolytes, it's at least a fresh deviation from the norms of current metal trends...for the time being, anyway. Bands like Skeletonwitch and Warbringer have already caused a buzz through the North American metal underground, and their credo that the old school is the better school is happily reflected in Grief of War's rapid-paced hello from the east.

If you're not convinced that traditional thrash metal is back in a big way, then spin A Mounting Crisis: As Their Fury Got Released and if the blitz-breathed "Hatred Burns and "Rat Race" doesn't have your attention out the gate, then stick around and see if "Eternal Curse" doesn't toxic waltz like your favorite Exodus pit stomper through rearranged riffs and a dead-on rhythm that deviates on the song's bridges. Otherwise, get up off your ass and you-know-what, and if you hit the floor you can always crawl...

While A Mounting Crisis: As Their Fury Got Released does exercise plenty of power metal flexing on primarily mid-tempo cuts like "Sown By Greed," "Blind From the Facts" and "The Judgment Day," the theme and the scheme is to shred your face at the jawline at top flight with "Resist," "Blood Lust" and "Distrust."

Playing with every ounce of conviction as any Bay Area madmen, Grief of War, led by Manabu Hirose, dares you not to headbang like a retard through A Mounting Crisis: As Their Fury Got Released. Unless your brand of metal falls under different camp flags, there's almost no reason to dismiss Grief of War. As impressive as Death Angel back in the eighties with their critical debut album The Ultra-Violence, Grief of War is equally fierce and full of red-flagging global controversy in their artwork and their lyrics. Assuredly Hirose and his crew were spinning plenty of Death Angel, Nuclear Assault, Sadus and Carnivore while concocting A Mounting Crisis: As Their Fury Got Released because this album moves with a purpose and they only stand to get even better.

Rating: ****

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