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Hrrmm... - 67%

Aetheraeon, August 5th, 2009

Grief of War is a relatively new thrash metal band hailing from Tokyo, Japan, and they have just re-released their album “A Mounting Crisis… As Their Fury Got Released” through Prosthetic Records. Though originally released in 2005, Grief of War’s debut album did not receive a lot of attention worldwide, something which may well change with the re-released on Prosthetic Records.

Though the words “Japanese thrash” might make one think about bands such as Abigail and Barbatos, Grief of War take quite a different approach to the genre. Musically, Grief of War’s sound hearkens back to the late 80s thrash metal sound, nothing less, but not too much more either. They seem a lot more serious than a band like Abigail, something which is reflected in both the lyrical approach as in the vocal delivery. Manabu Hirose’s vocal performance – reminding me of Sodom’s Tom Angelripper – is good both on its own and backed up by gang shouts. The album contains songs both slow and pounding, as well as blisteringly fast songs with well-executed solos, all of which containing some good thrash riffs. The drumming is wholly without the use of double bass, suiting the feel of the album quite nicely. The production is rather rough, but it remains enjoyable throughout the album. Thrash never was a genre that benefited from overly polished production and “A Mounting Crisis…” is no different in this.

One of the main downsides that plague Grief of War (and most bands within the thrash genre nowadays, honestly), is that it does not seem like they are creating music that contains any fresh ideas. It is always a struggle coming up with new musical concepts and Grief of War does not really manage this aspect of creating music at all. None of the music is too renewing or inspired and most fans of thrash metal will not be finding anything strikingly original on this release. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, since “A Mounting Crisis…” is still a decent enough album to make you want to spin it every once in a while and just enjoy the thrash songs that are dished out on it.

The album contains a good amount of decent thrashing songs for old and new fans alike and though they bring nothing new to the genre, it is worth checking out. Just do not expect too much of it.

(Originally written for http://www.gothtronic.com/)

So? - 67%

Noktorn, September 13th, 2008

You know how everyone has a handful of obscure albums that they're totally obsessed with, but no one else even remotely cares about them? Well 'A Mounting Crisis... As Their Fury Got Released' must be one of those albums for the person in charge of signing over at Prosthetic Records, because there's NO REASON that this needed a reissue at all. Not because copies of the original edition are still widely available, but because this music is entirely unremarkable and unnecessary. Were it not for a weird fascination on the part of Prosthetic Records, Grief Of War would disappear completely, just a footnote in the history of metal. But here we are, with a full-fledged repress of an album that no one cares about by a band that no one's even heard of and I'm still trying to figure out what the fuck is going on over at Prosthetic.

Grief Of War plays traditional, slightly power-influenced thrash metal. Riffs are choppy bursts of tremolo facing off with racing drums and semi-clean shouted or occasionally growled vocals. It sounds like traditional thrash metal and I'm struggling to come up with a more specific descriptor. The songs are fast and a bit too long for their own good, and the whole purpose of the band seems to be just a tribute to old thrash metal. I guess the closest band this resembles is Exodus, but the bay area feel isn't quite as intense on this release. It's a riff-dominated album and the production is pretty full and clear, though the drums are a bit overloud at times.

Again, I can't fathom why Prosthetic Records felt the need to reprint this album. I mean, it's okay music, probably better for people who are genuine thrash fans, but even then I can't imagine someone hearing a track on this album and getting cold sweats until they manage to get the actual CD in their grubby hands. It's totally middle-of-the-road in every way, and there's nothing original to it. It's a thrash tribute band, the sort of band that should really be playing Slayer covers in some bar in Japan to a bunch of drunk people. It's a perfect example of the genre I suppose, and if you just needed to show someone what thrash metal at its purest sounds like, this is a good enough record to play, but who would want to listen to this apart from people who just want thrash and don't care about any other details beyond that?

Then again there are plenty of people like that so I guess I recommend it to them.