Friday, December 23, 2011

#18: Landmine Marathon - Gallows

Last year, Landmine Marathon's Sovereign Descent landed inside the Top 20 on my year end list. So it was a pleasant surprise to learn that Gallows (Prosthetic) was being released this year. Even better news was that it was good enough to land inside the Top 20 again. Gallows picked up more or less where Sovereign left off but perhaps with a little more urgency. I would imagine that with enough solid material for another album so soon, the band  was bursting at the seams. What spews forth is caustic brew of death metal and grindcore. Gallows blast through its roughly 30 minute running time with suffocating intensity. Breathing room is a rarity. Caustic suffocation and relentless pummelling doesn't sound like much fun but if that's how you think, you've never seen Landmine perform live. Listening to Gallows makes me want bust into a one-man mosh pit. At least I wouldn't have to worry about taking an elbow to the face. Vocalist Grace Perry is as always, at the top of her game and this time around (I noticed anyway) bassist Matt Martinez contributes a little more of his roars to deepen the vocal element. Guitarist/producer Ryan Butler and guitarist Dylan Thomas lay down sick grooves, shred like Slayer, and can weave swirling rhythms around each other. Gallows also marks the transition of drummer Andy York to the studio after joining the band following the recording of Sovereign Descent. To rehash a likely overused pun, he doesn't miss a beat. I always hear people compare Landmine to Bolt Thrower. Until I actually get around to checking BT out, I'll be content Gallows. And maybe Landmine Marathon can even pull a Top 20 trifecta in 2012!

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