Who’s Grinding What Now?
With thrash metal steadily approaching “classic” status, it’s no longer enough to simply kick ass and take names. It definitely takes a certain something to make people stand up and listen, and an intriguing and slightly silly name is one way to get it. Enter Philadelphia’s own Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, dishing out more heavy thrash in the City of Brotherly Love with their third full-length, Ghostmaker.
Opener “Those Who Are Unseen” is classic heavy thrash metal in the vein of Sodom and Kreator, with vocalist/bassist Shawn Riley spitting rapid-fire vitriol into the mic. “Fucking Wild” branches out a bit, featuring a touch of melodic death metal a la In Flames, as well as precision percussion from Patrick Battaglia. “A Lurking Thief” slows things down with a clean intro before moving into a harmonically dense main riff and wild dual guitar solos courtesy of Ryan Moll and Matt Moore. “Iron Jaw” is a bit of a curveball, with its deceptive and catchy groove metal interludes, but they certainly serve to accentuate the breakneck verses that much more. Finally, closer “Desert Goblins” is a swirling thrash epic worthy of the gods, mixing in a dash of prog and just a touch of death metal before drifting to a feedback finale.
While it’s not groundbreaking by any means, Ghostmaker is a solid, catchy thrash record from one of the genre’s new masters. The guys in Rumpelstiltskin Grinder absolutely know what they’re doing, and the love they have for the music is clear. Fans of RSG and the modern heavy thrash will want to pick this one up. Remember, just because the name is a little goofy, doesn’t mean the band is goofing off.