Label: Candlelight Records
Release Date, June 19, 2012
There is likely always going to be a core thrash sound. Whether it is in the vein of D.R.I., Slayer, or Testament, there will be bands to thrash for us all. For a span of time, there was a bit of ennui with a new crop of thrash bands who were rehashing the previous decades over and over. Then, just beyond the horizon of the 21st century, a gleaming new light came into view. Its name was Rumpelstiltskin Grinder. Its purpose was to create Ghostmaker, their third and best full length album in the band’s 10 year career. If you are not from the Northeast region of the United States, you may have never heard of them. This Pennsylvania band finally embarked on a North American tour with Absu in 2009, but has mainly performed regional shows since their inception in 2002.
Rumpelstiltskin Grinder has taken thrash and gave it an extreme metal infusion on Ghostmaker. The album opens with a fistful of frenzied fretting fury titled, “Those Who Are Unseen”. An unrelenting pace harkens the blitzkrieg that we will all bear witness to and ultimately fall before. The snarling vocal delivery is one aspect that is dialed up to a new level of feverish attack over their previous albums. The first track may have you convinced that speed is the only thing that matters to this quartet, but you would be wrong. True enough, Rumpelstiltskin Grinder does speed very well and often, but they have quite a few songs on this release that show a good bit of their vast talent.
“Cold Haunting Death” opens with a manic melodic lead in before exploding into schizophrenic midtone riffs that bring to mind the depravity of Polkadot Cadaver colliding with Skeletonwitch.
“A Lurking Thief” is more down beat than the majority of the album, but it strongly seeps with shades of equal parts Agalloch, Bathory, and Helltrain. Plus, it always moves forward with the sound. Not to mention the trudging through thick swampy guitars in the track “Get Out Of My Grave/Gigantic Graveyard”. The pace is quickly picked back up on the aptly titled, “Run Through The Bastards”. This is a definite no-holds-barred neck breaker for the windmill headbangers out there. It is a standout track to be sure.
The album wraps up with “Desert Goblins”, a nicely layered track which puts a finessed final touch onto an album brimming with ferocity and urgency. The guitars throughout are definitely black metal bred. The drums are full of piss and vinegar. The vocals are not coming after you but rather cut right through. You would benefit greatly from sitting down and listening to Ghostmaker, as the talent is first-rate and you can impress your friends with the album cover art as an added bonus. Mike Hrubovcak did a great job with it. He’s also done work for Hate Eternal, Grave, and Cattle Decapitation, among others.
Rumpelstiltskin Grinder has set the bar higher, not just for themselves, but for a good many bands in metal to try to attain. This album is worthy to be on many Top 10 Lists for 2012.
Rumpelstiltskin Grinder currently features bassist/vocalist Shawn Riley, guitarist Matt Moore, guitarist Ryan Moll, and drummer Patrick Battaglia.