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The Sludge Inferno - 93%

RondofedoR, December 30th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, Digital, Argento Records

In Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy souls are dispersed among the nine circles of the Inferno. Sinners fit into three categories: incontinence, violence, and fraud. Upper hell is where those who lacked self-control reside, with the second circle, lust, home eternal for a population of carnal deviants battered by unending turbulence, gales, and whirlwinds.

On Grime’s second full-length album, Circle of Molesters, artist Jason Barnett’s terrific artwork depicts a most hellish and psychedelic landscape, fraught with demons and pain and perverse sexual imagery that imparts a distinct expectation, undeniably oppressive and discomforting, well before “Obscuration” ever crawls into existence.

For the four men in Grime, a sludge metal mob from northeast Italy’s Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the cover art couldn’t have represented their latest album any better. Circle of Molesters is the soundtrack to hell’s various pits; be it for murderers, rapists, or traitors, the music is aural aggression and punishment, pressing its will on the listener with grueling temerity, black and bludgeoning and lined with cracked and bloodied teeth.

A sanguine and static-charged atmosphere envelops the whole of Circle of Molesters, with riffs tremoring and rolling underfoot until they explode and fall from the skies like steaming 50-ton boulders. Tempo stays at a brawling pace, all hooks and upper-cuts and ground-and-pound, indifferent to the jab game or anything resembling float-like-a-butterfly-sting-like-a-bee. This is shot-for-shot brutality that takes it on the chin like Don fucking Frye, throwing bombs till the second and third winds come in heaving and smelling of shit and sulphur.

Combining the trudging might of Conan, the blackened rage of Lord Mantis, and the sludged-over malice of Horn of the Rhino, Grime dominate a field loaded with the burly and the bearded by belching up tracks like “Decay in Hades” and the meltdown closer “Orgiastic Rite.” Deteriorate, the band’s full-length debut, proved a worthwhile showing of disgusting, vein-grooved hate, but just two short years later, it ultimately can’t hold a single fuckin’ candle to the onslaught doled out by Circle of Molesters.

Written for The Metal Observer