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The Leviathan's Mandible > Desolate > Reviews
The Leviathan's Mandible - Desolate

Could have been so good - 38%

ThrashingMad, October 10th, 2007

This is a very odd release, but not because it is doing anything radically different from most other bands or exploring new genres. No, this is an odd release because of its remarkable ability to shift from awesome to absolute horseshit in mere seconds.

"Constructs Of A God Complex" starts off like a fucking monster that will readily devour the listener at anytime time. The first riff of the song is perfect. It is catchy, melodic, and it gets your head banging. The vocals are deep death growls that work pretty well. So far everything is going nicely, then it all goes downhill, no it doesn't just go downhill, it falls off a goddamn cliff. Around 30 seconds into the song they throw away that awesome riff and go straight to a terrible breakdown. Then the pig squeals come in and totally kill the song. It’s all completely unnecessary, why is this stuff in the song? What happened to the song I loved just a few seconds ago? The song continues in this annoying fashion until it ends. There is another good riff somewhere in between breakdowns, but it is not nearly enough to save the song. Ugh, deathcore kills everything.

"Advocation Of Vanity" is much better. It has a lot really good technical riffs that are constantly changing. Unlike the first track, the deathcore elements are kept to a minimum. There are a few annoying squealing parts, but the vocals are good for the most part. This song has good consistency and that is exactly what the demo needs more of.

'Slither" is pretty much bad the whole time. It kicks off with some decent riffing but soon falls off the same cliff the first song fell off. Bad vocals and mediocre riffs bring the track to its painful death.

"The Real Hatfield And McCoys" sounds surprisingly like regular grindcore compared the more experimental sound of the rest of the songs. At this point it feels like a breath of fresh air. The riffs are simple but very good. The vocals sound more like typical grind vocals, varying between deep growls and high screams. Also there is a nice tempo shift towards the end of the song. All these things come together to make one really good song. Again consistency, it’s the path to success.

Many parts of this demo are truly great, but there are just too many stupid factors that hold it back. It is way too inconsistent to be called good or even okay for that matter. If they cut out all the stupid shit they would be really good, but I seriously doubt that will happen.

Cool, if not brief - 75%

doomgrind, September 30th, 2007

'Desolate' is an unrelenting four-and-a-half minute demo from a three piece US death grind outfit by the name of The Leviathan's Mandible. At only four minutes and twenty-seven seconds, the demo is completely filler-free and to the point.

Production is clear and sharp, letting all the instruments come out clearly while still retaining a slight sludginess to the riffs. This demo is completely bass-less. I think this is a good move, because I can only see a bass guitar in the mix being completely cumbersome and slow for the furious tempos reached on this demo. Riffing is a vortex of tremolo picking, smashing chugged riffs and squealing guitar licks. The riffs are very prominent and thrashy, and only ever slow down for about 10 seconds throughout the entire demo. As I've mentioned in the beginning of this review, there are no fills, just a furious barrage of riffs, blast beats, screams and growls until the end. Drumming is made up of copious cymbal smashing, fast hi-hat runs, pummeling double bass runs and smashing blast beats. Vocals are semi-distorted screams and unintelligible guttural roars and growls. The parts that stood out for me are are the guitar squeals alternating with vocals and snare hits on 'Constructs of a God Complex' and the slow, pounding section made up double bass runs, chugging riffs and cymbal crashes at the beginning of 'Slither'.

Overall this is a quality piece of modern grindcore, and the demo can be downloaded from their MySpace page, so there's no reason not to give the demo a listen and support a grindcore band that displays a great deal more competence then the countless gore/grind projects floating around out there.

Cool modern grind - 75%

Noktorn, September 14th, 2007

It's big, it's hard, it grinds viciously into you, and it's over in under five minutes. It's not just the bad experience you had with your summer camp counselor when you were seven years old: it's 'Desolate', the latest demo by The Leviathan's Mandible!

My first introduction to this band was at a local grindcore festival of sorts. This three piece ripped through a bassless set of furious modern grindcore with a spectacular level of intensity from every member: massive, semi-melodic tremolo riffs meshed with guttural roars and soaring screeches over a bed of (one foot, in fact) blast beats. While they seemed a bit out of place on a roster of primarily goregrind bands, I was highly impressed by their performance despite this. The music on record loses almost none of the intensity of their live performance, luckily. There's a minimalist savagery to the music here that I like: there aren't really any fills; the band just shifts mercilessly from riff to riff without any sort of pause in between. Call it 'In The Nightside Eclipse' played by Extreme Noise Terror.

Pig Destroyer is the greatest influence here, I think, though there are a number of sludgy, almost power violence sections as well. The riffs here are surprisingly memorable, especially for grindcore, with each being very clearly articulated, with production that never reduces the guitar to a pile of distortion. The music as a whole is actually very coherent and never feels particularly loose, even in the massive tempo and rhythm changes. Even the most extreme of these instances, like on 'Slither', are entirely natural. I'd say the band is a bit more suited to live performances than on record, but that's not really a flaw on their part: the music just conveys a greater sense of intensity when they're thrashing out two feet away from you at 120 decibels. Of course, they have their charms recorded as well: the individual riffs and intricacies of the songs can be better appreciated.

In short, this is quite nice. This demo has, of course, a very brief running time, but it's free for download from the band's Myspace page, so you have no reason not to check it out. If you like modern style grindcore with excellent instrumental performances and damned solid songwriting, you should certainly give it a go.