Rumpelstiltskin Grinder - _Buried in the Front Yard_
(Relapse Records, 2005)
by: Jackie Smit (8.5 out of 10)
With all the talk of thrash metal's rebirth, there have been precious few new bands of any note to emerge from the scene since the hype began, leaving it to the glut of reunited old-schoolers to keep the torch burning. Even here though, the numbers of quality releases have been inconsistent, and with the exception of the last Exodus album, 2005 was a mostly lean year indeed for the genre. It's a very pleasant surprise therefore to hear an album like _Buried in the Front Yard_, and you can imagine that for those who have spent the last several years moaning about how non-descript metal has become, this release will be an absolute godsend.

While lyrically not treading across topics of the same academic gravitas as the apocalyptic themes explored by bands like Nuclear Assault -- they do call themselves Rumpelstiltskin Grinder after all -- there's nothing humorous about their music. Described by Relapse Records as "Dissection versus Kreater-esque metal", songs like "Stealing E.T." and "Let the Fools Cheer" are more like a thrashed up Death, with Eli Shaika's voice recalling a latter-day Chuck Schuldiner on more than one occasion. Likewise, the off-beat chorus to "Grab a Shovel (We've Got Bodies to Bury)" isn't dissimilar to many of _The Sound of Perseverance_'s finest moments.

Announcing, as they do on "Orange & Black Attack", that "We're not fucking around", _Buried in the Front Yard_ is buckling under the weight of enough ripping guitar solos, killer riffing and triplet-led goodness to underline with some authority that this Pennsylvanian quintet are very far from being a joke.


(article published 29/1/2006)

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