Grale - Agitacion (2021)
Formed under the pressures of the pandemic lockdown, with members from Olde, Indian Handcrafts, and Cross Dog, this quartet of Canadian metal-makers have put together five tracks for their debut EP. Blending death metal aggression with sludgy grime, the band finds ways to keep their high-tempo maneuverings engaging and healthily diverse, never settling for too long into any one groove.
Opening track “Meth Aggressor” gets things off to a fine start, meshing grinding riffs with rhythmic deftness, and letting the harsh vocals of guest Rob Urbinati set tones of near-vicious acidity and swelling doom. Fine instrumental work gets the motor running, and “No Justice for All” picks up that momentum to run into a disarming bit of melodic indulgence, hooking listeners before pummeling them with more hard-beat action. A bit of throwback soloing comes in quick and sharp, swaying heads and setting ground for some spacier effects the band has in store.
Midpoint tune “The Blade”, in spite of its name, actually brings things down to a slower pace, working a staunch set of riffs to savory effect. Splashes of guitar tone exploration give way to speedier shredding, clean tones clashing excellently with the bass' weighty presence. “The Emptiness Project” punches in for its penultimate spot with still another powerful lead riff, swinging its downbeats with solid power, then cranking up to harder drive. The banging beats brought in towards the end might have this one slotted in as my personal favorite of the five. Lastly, “Terror Control” hits a churning back-and-forth swing for its commanding guitar and drum alternations, bringing the EP to a fiery finish. Excellent work on all five tracks, and one of the better things to emerge from the circumstances of the pandemic. The EP dropped at the end of February, so get on over to Grale's BandCamp and grab yourself a copy already!
For Fans Of; Abstracter, Body Void, Lifeless Gaze, Mountain God, Rainbows Are Free