"Riot Detonator"

(Candlelight/Nocturnal Art)

01. Warhead
02. Pathetic Submission
03. The Rebellion
04. Transition
05. Epilogue
06. Hellfire
07. Concept of Honesty
08. Death's Disciples
09. Obligation to Prevail

RATING: 8/10

The scream of "Warrrhhheeeeaaaaddddd!" (No, not the VENOM tune) to begin the second album from Norway's MINDGRINDER was my first clue that "Riot Detonator" would not be the industrial-edged, programmed death metal of 2004's "Mindtech". The previous release had its moments, but felt like a band that was unsure of what it wanted to be. The album left me with little more than a lukewarm feeling. By contrast, "Riot Detonator" charges head on into old school Swedish death/thrash metal with an obvious intent to make each song a highlight. What an about-face, and thankfully so.

Given the members' pedigree (ZYKLON, WINDIR, SCUM), I suppose one shouldn't be too taken aback by the quality songwriting and extreme aggression. Each track offers the listener memorable choruses, arrangement variety, and the most rugged riffs this side of Sunlight Studios. The soloing from lead guitarists Nitrous and Titan add to the vintage thrash feel of the disc, injecting the songs with primal emotion without losing focus. Vocalist/bassist/programmer Cosmocrator (some light electronic elements do remain, but only for purposes of accent) barks out gruff and decipherable lines, occasionally changing to a growl. Dropping in vocal changeups in the right places, such as the Nergal-like (BEHEMOTH) layered style (sans the annoyance factor) on "Pathetic Submission" makes the music that much more interesting without ever seeming overdone. Clean vocals are tossed about here and there as well (Don't worry, it works). Utilizing a human drummer this time makes all the difference in the world. Dan's percussive nuance amidst the blasting gives these songs a lot of life. (Ex-DISIPLIN member Nex replaced Dan after the recording).

I could have easily written a track-by-track review of "Riot Detonator", extolling the virtues of each of these gnarly little nuggets. We'll not go that far though and instead substitute the abbreviated version. A minute-long acoustic piece ("Epilogue") joins amp-blowing thrash that hits with ENTOMBED ferocity ("The Rebellion"), HATE ETERNAL dirge riffing mixed with Swedish death metal ("Pathetic Submission"), death march atrocity ("Death's Disciples"), and textured song structures ("Obligation to Prevail"). Also included are videos for the studio version of "Pathetic Submission" and a live performance of "War Solution". What more could you ask for?


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).