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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Album Review: Landmine Marathon - Gallows

Landmine Marathon - Gallows
2011 Prosthetic Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Grace Perry is to Landmine Marathon what Angela Gossow is to Arch Enemy, Sabina Classen to Holy Moses and Krysta Cameron to Iwrestledabearonce. It just so happens Perry huffs and growls her innards to their straining point in a band that fancies a vibe plunged between Agnostic Front and Napalm Death with scant elbow room for much else.

Some might argue Perry has to work harder in a band demanding such a strenuous task from her, but already through four albums, you know where Landmine Marathon stands musically and Perry does too. She's up to the task, so you'd better be as well. Following last year's Sovereign Descent, Perry and her crashed-up marauders fire up the charges once again on Gallows, an album offering little differentiation than what they've released prior. No doubt exactly what their fans want.

Minus a concentrated effort of guitar soloing on Gallows which was practically remiss on Sovereign Descent, Landmine Marathon still retains the cacaphonous detonation of their namesake, a modus operandi not for the squeamish. Crunk and clunk served in brittle helpings on "Three Snake Leaves," "Liver and Lungs," "Cloaked in Red" and "Cutting Flesh and Bone," Landmine Marathon dishes it brutal and even more brutal--skip the appetizers.

"Knife From My Sleeve" may have a slow-winding intro, but there's little else (minus a few random tempo-skidding breakdowns) on Gallows that doesn't clock in past the shockwaves of a 50-megaton strike in a no-man's land gulch. Those just cozying up with Landmine Marathon for the first time might feel the impatient urge to grab some Madball, Terror and Morbid Angel after their introduction. At least "Cloaked in Red" has a badass punk groove and Slayer-esque death throes (not to mention a blinky King-Hanneman solo yank) to change things up a hair. As for their existing fans, they'll be headbanging on a constant from their media player into the mosh pit once Landmine Marathon hits their towns.

By now, there's no more geek factor to Grace Perry's animalistic yowling at the fore of a 'core-grind hybrid. Perry is the star attraction to Landmine Marathon, sure, but the bigger picture is this group can duke it out with the best of their ilk and God bless 'em, they have the tact to keep their work to a short running time. Smart maneuvering when you have a fairly redundant songwriting scheme. Then again, as the song title on track seven indicates, Landmine Marathon's only creative goal is to leave you beaten and left blind.

You've been served.

Rating: ***1/2


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