Written by: The Administrator
When it comes the (admittedly ill-defined) bingo card of stuff that I like, Portland's own Soul Grinder ticks a lot of boxes, and have been doing so from their inception back in 2018. Their debut EP Terraflesh impressed with a uniquely unhinged energy, and follow-up LP The Prophecy of Blight proudly demonstrated a similar excitement and viscerality, albeit with enough refinement in the songwriting department to lend the band a clear maturity and sense of direction.
Continuing the trend, the Queen Corrosia EP, released this May, subtly substitutes a sense of measured confidence for the sense of breakneck urgency that permeated their earlier work.While undoubtedly aggressive and rash, the title track isn't particularly unhinged--it is not restlessly scrabbling at it's own boundaries. The solo, for example, sits comfortably within the forward canter, and the vocals, while powerful, aren't chaotic to a blistering degree. As a result, this track, and those that follow, feel more settled--although in the grand scheme of exciting punky melodic thrash, Soul Grinder are still sitting comfortably at the more vigorous end of the spectrum. And when you're talking about the carnivalesque world of punky melodic thrash, that's saying a lot. Fear not: the riffs still thrash and stomp in familiar fashion, and Prilzor's vocals still shred through the instrumentation with a rabid yet gloriously dynamic freneticism.
Soul Grinder is a band that works exceedingly well in the EP format--they make their point decisively, and each of the three songs is given appropriate space in the limelight without being rolled under by the next high-energy number. My favorite track here is the closer "Brain Rot," which injects the formula with a neck-wringing riff and a delightfully punk-inflected chorus. This is the kind of non-nonsense track that practically demands a hyped up crowd chanting along--albeit drunkenly--to the hooky refrain. After the slightly longer tracks that precede, the slightly quicker runtime allows the track to make its point immediately, leaving me craving more.
As I previously stated in my review for The Prophecy of Blight, "Soul Grinder reminds us that heavy metal can (and should) be fun, and adventurous, and jubilant, and over-the-top." The same sentiment applies in the case of Queen Corrosia, and perhaps even more so. A little excitement and distraction goes a long way these days, and spending some time with Soul Grinder has, erm, paradoxically helped to rejuvenate a coarsely ground soul. Needless to say, I highly recommend you check this one out.
Soul Grinder - Queen Corrosia was released May 6th, 2022. Find it here!
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.