Candlelight Records (2012)
The third proper full-length for the idiotically named Rumplestiltskin Grinder is a mixed bag to say the least. Musically one foot falls heavily in the thrash camp, but there are more extreme influences such as death metal and grind at work here.
Like it or not, the first thing that strikes the listener is how polished an offering this is. The guitars crunch and shred and the drumming is crystal clear from the snap of the snare to the ring and crash of the cymbals. Then there is the musicianship. Members of Krieg, Absu and Solace in the Shadows show from the opening bars that they can amaze the listener with the amount of power and melody they can cram into three quarters of an hour. There are riffs, fills and lines in here as good as anything I’ve heard this year.
On the minus side, there is no real identity to the whole concept. Some of the lyrics are supposed to be amusing, but to be honest they are pretty vacuous. I don’t care if bands sing about spaceships or plaiting Odin’s beard or smashing their own balls with a hammer – as long as they sing about something! The second shortcoming is that while each of the songs has moments of excellence there are also parts where the attention wanders and it is possible to lose interest until Rumplestiltskin Grinder come back to gather you up with some fretboard gymnastics.
I can’t help feeling that if these guys actually had a message or some central musical and lyrical concept to hang their writing on “Ghostmaker” would have scored even better than the points I’ve awarded here. Still, it is a great modern thrash/death hybrid and definitely recommended for fans of this type of music.
Rating: 4.5 / 6
Composed by Peter Loftus