Remains – Grind Til Death (Album Review)
Remains – Grind Til Death
Released: July 15, 2022
Tony ‘Tone Bone’ Forde // vocals
Jay Allen // drums
Dave Hill // guitars
Rohan // bass
Some death metal bands like to go deep with elongated guitar sections and bass solos, with vocal harmonies and the odd bit of synth to create the mood. There’s nothing wrong with this, sometimes you want to eat a sophisticated five course meal in a classy restaurant. But sometimes you just want to slam down a delicious burger, or the death metal equivalent, you want something that slams without any pretense that there is something larger going on here. To that end, I present to you Remains. The longest song on Grind til Death clocks in at 2.16 minutes. This is old school grinding death metal with little room for embellishments. It is fast, it is brutal and it will leave you with a gaping hole in your brain when it blows your mind out your ears. With former members of Blood Duster, Captain Cleanoff, The Kill, Fuck I’m Dead, King, and The Day Everything Became Nothing, Remains have a great legacy behind them and a chance to lay waste to people’s conceptions of what constitutes good metal.
‘Remainiacs Arise’ sets the table with a distorted voice (somewhere between Scream and Saw) letting you know this is going to be brutal. ‘Bloodthirst’ lives up to this hype, getting straight into blast beats and beastly vocals. The few seconds without drums throw in a sweet little riff and give your head some respite from the sheer onslaught. Satan would be proud. ‘The Butcher’ continues the grinding approach with some really solid riffing and the continuation of those pounding double kicks and snare, though there’s also some more traditional Entombed-style death metal guitar work too. ‘You’re on Fire’ continues this approach, with the multi-tracked vocals really shining on this one, going for a higher pitched black metal shriek alongside the growls. It’s actually really catchy with a great hook that would blitz the crowd in a club gig. Ditto the anthemic ‘Shot Dead’, which also features slower riffs for your headbanging pleasure.
If this was a burger, there’s actually some gourmet technique here that is worth listening to through headphones. Despite initial impressions, they aren’t just throwing ingredients together and calling it death metal. There are changes in tempo at just the right moment, and there’s a fair bit of technicality to the riffs. ‘Intercorpse’ mixes things up with a bass intro before just thrashing the shit out of everything in sight. The short run times for each track also mean there’s an immediacy to the songs and they pack a lot in. They aren’t just playing the same three chords for 90 odd seconds. ‘Like Death’ actually has that thrash/punk crossover feel for the first 20 seconds before blasting its way to grindcore goodness. It’s also this song that made me realise how articulate the vocals are, I can actually make sense of the lyrics on first listen. As a result, tunes like ‘Lords of Grind’ hit the mark on the first attempt, making it a sure fire pit starter.
I have to admit though that there is a sameness to much of the material on Grind to Death. Just when my attention starts to wane, ‘Bleed for Me’ drops in a quick guitar solo and mixes up the growls with screams. ‘Human Brodo’ also grabbed me with a groove-laden riff and a reference to my mother-in-law’s cold and flu remedy. This one successfully mixes meaty grind with some great groove so maybe I was wrong. There is more than just burgers on this menu. ‘Groganator’ (what a title!) is also quite groovy and has a sense of humour, the kind of thing that made Blood Duster so endearing. That said, ‘Stripped to the Bone’ comes as titled, there’s literally nothing but charred bone on this one. Just brutal. There’s little let up from there, it’s ripping grindcore all the way, with the closing track serving as their titular anthem.
Despite being a debut album, Remains are built on decades of experience in the scene and it shows on Grind til Death. If you like bands like Cattle Decapitation and peak Napalm Death you’ll be right into this particular brand of chaos. If you’re looking for a fancy meal to satisfy your metal hunger, this won’t be it. But if you’re down for some grease without the fat then Remains are not only going to hit the spot, they’re going to make you come back for more.
Remains – Grind Til Death Tracklisting:
- Remaniacs Arise
- The Butcher
- You’re On Fire
- Shot Dead
- Body in the Bin
- Like Death
- Lords of Grind
- Bleed for Me
- Human Brodo
- Bludgeoned to Death
- Wrapped in Silk
- Stripped to the Bone
- Beast of Belanglo
- Church of Bones
Rating: 7.5 / 10
Grind to Death is out July 15th via Disdain Records. Pre Order here.
Review by KJ Draven (Twitter and Instagram)
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