AlbumsNovember 29, 201110,302 views

GridLink Amber Gray


01. Amber Gray 02. 3 Miles Below Sea Level 03. The Jenova 04. Crash Logs 05. Black 06. Pattern Recognition 07. Antitheist 08. Stake Knife 09. Asuka 10. Burning Tiamat 11. Severance Package
2008 Hydra Head Records
Our score 9


There is a distinct moment during Amber Gray when, as the music has descended into a swirling maelstrom of fretboard calisthenics set to a backdrop of blast beats and Jon Chang's ubiquitous, piercing screams, that the listener begins to comprehend the larger strategy at hand, or, at the very least, is slowly brought about to the realization that GridLink is not just another mindless grind band. Yes, the feverish, blast-friendly hyper thrash conjured up by GridLink is a retreading of rather familiar territory (Pig Destroyer comes to mind). But in this case, Jon Chang (ex-Discordance Axis) and Matsubara (Haiyano Daisuki, Mortalized) are at the helm, thereby ensuring that this particular creative outlet effectively plumbs the blackened depths of those extra special feelings of pain, self-hatred, and misanthropy. Put simply, Amber Gray is a terrifyingly beautiful grindcore assault, one unsettling in its intensity, and one whose volatile, albeit ephemeral bursts of frenetic hyper thrash bring to mind the happy marriage of Pentagon war crimes photos and senseless acts of extreme violence. In short, this record will fuck you up. "I come to you in pieces with seams that no thread can mend," screams Jon Chang over a cacophony of thrashy riffage, "It feels so good to reopen these wounds again and again and again." And so begins title track and album opener Amber Gray, a chaotic ebullition of blast beats and high-pitched shrieks with lyrical references to trojan horses, shrapnel, and the legendary island paradise of Hourai, which was said to be inhabited by immortals with special powers. Clocking in at just under twelve minutes, Gridlink's debut is a methamphetamine induced epileptic seizure in eleven parts, one whose lyrical content betrays what some might consider an unhealthy fascination with Philip K. Dick novels, Anime, and face-melting grindcore. Guitarist and principal song-writer Matsubara deftly balances incredibly fast speed-picking with a sort of sped up hybrid of early Anthrax, Kreator, and Pig Destroyer, throwing in an occasional foray into melodic, Maiden-esque pull-offs and hammer-ons for good measure. Doing his best Dave Witte impersonation, drummer Fajardo does what all good grind drummers are supposed to do: blasts hard and blasts fast. And then there are Chang's vocals, which, barring the obvious similarity to Discordance Axis, are just as brutal--if not more so--than the most chaotic moments of DA's storied repertoire. For my money, it doesn't get any better than hearing Chang scream "baptized in Ebola! bleaching yourself with turpentine!" to a soundtrack of blast-laden, meth-soaked hyper thrash. There is a scene in the Adrian Lyne film, Jacob's Ladder, which, in my mind, rather eloquently captures what I take to be the essence of Amber Gray. In this scene, Jacob, in the throes of a nightmarish hallucination, sees a legless torso strapped into a chair, violently jerking its masked head in all directions in horrific, fast motion; the startling angularity of the unidentified torso's movements come across not necessarily as symptomatic of a fit of blind rage as much as a seizure-like schizoid reflex born of panic and chaos. From start to finish, Amber Gray mirrors the nebulous and seemingly undirected channelling of intense violence conveyed through Jacob's post-war hallucinations. The camp, unsophisticated theatricality that one would usually associate with thrash or grindcore becomes almost completely diluted and negated by the disquieting intensity of GridLink's music. Bottom Line: At risk of sounding a bit hyperbolic, GridLink's debut release, Amber Gray, is by and large one of the best grindcore albums to be released in recent memory. If you are a fan of Pig Destroyer, Anal Cunt, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, or Discordance Axis, you would do well to purchase this record.

34 comments

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A Ghey_ 8/2/2008 11:38:47 AM

Pirst Fost, f*ck grindcore and gays who think they're old school for liking it.


FudgeYourYankeeBlueJeans_ 8/2/2008 11:39:52 AM

one of the best grindcore releases in recent memory? go f*ck yourself. this isnt really good. its just getting press because of the Discordance Axis ties.


denbez_ 8/2/2008 11:42:32 AM

This doesn't even come within miles of being as good as Discordance Axis. You sure used a lot of ten dollar words trying to make it sound way better than it is, though.


FudgeYourYankeeBlueJeans_ 8/2/2008 11:44:07 AM

Keitzer take a huge shit on this band as far as 2008 releases go. so do Machetazo.


anonymous 8/2/2008 12:52:43 PM

9/10? more like 9/11


anonymous 8/2/2008 1:16:18 PM

gay band/reviewer


anaturaldisaster_ 8/2/2008 1:20:34 PM

Pretty good EP, but I'm not exactly pissing myself over here.


tomer_ 8/2/2008 2:00:02 PM

very good record indeed, I wouldn't give it a 9/10, just because Jane Doe got the same. DA is better IMO, but GL is awesome too.


m00k_ 8/2/2008 2:07:22 PM

lol @ negative comments. This album/band rules


deadBEATdad_ 8/2/2008 2:23:54 PM

wonderful album


james_ 8/2/2008 2:44:30 PM

reviewer is a big f*cking gay, will read this and claim not to care but secretly does, you are a gay, sound like a college freshman trying to make an impression on his ENGL 105 teacher, kill your f*cking self please please please please please grindcoref*ckingsucksyougays


wow_ 8/2/2008 4:41:50 PM

amazing cd. i hope they play chicago one day.


circlepit_ 8/2/2008 8:14:07 PM

lol @ all the negativity


Filled_with_rape_semen_ 8/3/2008 4:56:56 PM

This record is so far one of my favs of the year, f*ck you negitive gayets.


Coley Thrash_ 8/3/2008 5:35:36 PM

Holy pretentious Bat-Man. I couldn't even get past the first paragraph without it turning my stomach. Do you run your reviews through a thesaurus before you post them? Shit is ridiculous.


Chaosweaver_ 8/4/2008 2:05:40 AM

No way in hell is this a 9


scrimm_ 8/4/2008 7:47:31 AM

STUPID gay REVIEWER THINKS HE KNOWS HIS SHIT IM IMPRESSED NOT EAT A CAN OF NAILS AND DIE FOREVER gay f*ck NICE SHIT REVEW jerk f*ck


lilpoostink_ 8/4/2008 10:45:00 AM

reviewer is pretentious gay. this band is ok. da was better. drummer is fast as f*ck, though.


Hardware_ 8/4/2008 12:53:04 PM

No Witte, No Care!


FranklinDelanoBluth_ 8/4/2008 1:31:24 PM

Yeah, seriously, this is the most pretentious review I've ever f*cking read. Knock it off.


poonangular_ 8/4/2008 6:10:35 PM

this critic needs to be fired... this cd is not a 9/10.... wtf? It's not aenima buddy. Grind is alright but never deserves a 9/10 rating. You suck at life and god knows how you got this job, but you need to quit gay.


Jasper_ 8/4/2008 7:17:34 PM

This album should not be 9/10. This review also sounds like you had some sort of grindcclimax while you wrote your college application essay. Stop being so f*cking nebulous it seems like your review is undirected and you can't channel your thoughts because you are having some sort of hallucination. Seriously stop trying to be so theatrically sophisticated you just end up diluting your review.


unitedninetythree_ 8/4/2008 7:17:46 PM

yeah this is lame. f*ck grind, f*ck discordance axis and f*ck this fruity little album too.


Erik_ 8/4/2008 8:00:29 PM

Gridlink? What the f*ck is this nu-metal bullshit name? f*ck.


fnffishcore_ 8/5/2008 10:46:36 AM

I actually like the shit out of this album. And dare me to say it, much better than D.A. Drummer smokes Witte too.


bryan_ 8/6/2008 10:23:24 AM

Sorry all you metal pssy's can't handle real grind!!


anonymous 8/6/2008 1:04:47 PM

man this shit is pretentious. god reviewer should really chill out with all of the pretentiousness. Im the first one to use that word right??


brains__ 8/6/2008 9:29:11 PM

good enough album. more like 7/10 though


sdhg_ 8/7/2008 1:19:33 PM

Record owns. f*ck your mom.


Jeebus Crist_ 8/9/2008 3:39:21 AM

Weird how this band lives close to my town and I've NEVER heard of them. Also, shit review.


lounge_ 8/10/2008 8:16:29 PM

really good band


duder_ 8/11/2008 2:05:03 AM

this album is the shit, all you negative f*cks need to go choke on some c-ck, def one of the better grindcore releases lately, its a breath of fresh air not just some carcass rehash, f*cking fast, brutal and technical, love it! its gotten great reviews everywhere, guess its your devil wears prada "grindcore" fruits Brian is an incredible drummer, check out his other band Kill The Client


Chase_ 8/19/2008 12:03:09 PM

review the new Rotten Sound and give it a 10/10


anonymous 2/3/2012 11:13:06 PM

Adding my shit comment to this shit thread of other shit comments by a bunch of jerks. Most of you motherf*ckers just don't get this music. This album is sick.