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Grimus - "The Progress in Elimination" (CD/EP)

Grimus - "The Progress in Elimination" CD/EP cover image

"The Progress in Elimination" track listing:

1. Disclaimer
2. A Tyrant's Nightmare
3. Last Chance
4. These Eyes
5. Bait
6. With Every Struggle

Reviewed by on February 17, 2011

"Can Grimus go a song without a breakdown? Apparently not, as “These Eyes” proves. The band follows a formula that has already been done to death."

Grimus, a northeastern New Jersey band founded in 2007, released their first EP, “The Progress in Elimination,” in March of 2009. The six-track effort begins with “Disclaimer,” and from the faded-in intro you can tell this is going to be deathcore to the bone. The verse is an ultra slow breakdown which predictably plows into a blast beat—a mix of New York hardcore and death metal. Suicide Silence, Oceano, take your pick of the floor punchers Grimus’ imitate. The shout along verse, the instrumental fall out leaving only the vocals, all the earmarks of the chug-and-pause, gravity blast riff wreckage that comprises the ‘core sound are adeptly aped by the five-piece.

“A Tyrant’s Nightmare” is competent and catchy, but hitting the mall death metal fad a bit late. The ultra brutal breakdowns just seem to keep getting slower. Slams to blast, dust to dust, trends to trends. The monstrous throaty vocals, hammer-on core riffs, diesel engine low end rumble and leads with a pompous sense of drama to them do little to differentiate Grimus from the rest of the deathcore pack. A youthfully annoying sense of humor comes through on the grating samples of a man imitating sirens on “Last Chance,” another mainstream core song that takes breakdowns to near standstill levels. If it gets any slower, it’ll be doom, but the song eventually heads into melo-death territory with tacked-on solos.

Can Grimus go a song without a breakdown? Apparently not, as “These Eyes” proves. The band follows a formula that has already been done to death. The current target du jour of the metal scene keeps getting bigger, and yet as labels keep snapping up deathcore bands, more young metal musicians keep jumping on the genre’s flaming coat tails. This is the voice of the next generation of metal? It’s frightening, and not in a good way. Where are the deviants? Where is the unexpected? Where are the risks? Those things won’t sell neon-logo, faux ironic t-shirts, though. Ingenuity is dead to this segment of the scene.

The copycat deathcore tendencies continue with “Bait.” There’s nothing about this song that stands out from the rest of its ilk. It simply blends in with the rest of the Net generation, social network overload obscurity. If record stores still exist in five years, they’ll have a “Generic Deathcore Bin.” All records 25 cents.

Maybe this is all a bit harsh. Grimus iss capable of writing solid music, as they show on the EP’s final track, “With Every Struggle.” But the band is simply going down a path that has been forcefully expanded into a traffic-clogged eight-lane superhighway full of tourists who are heading to the same destination in the same ostentatious tank SUVs, trying to drive over each other’s back bumpers and cave in their roofs in a vain effort to get noticed for doing exactly what anyone and everyone else is already doing. Listeners can take their pick and get the exact same thing from countless other bands. Grimus gives no reasons for us to single them out from the amorphous heap for praise.

Highs: The music is solid and heavy.

Lows: Grimus' solid and heavy breakdown-centric sound is, to put it mildly, vaguely familiar.

Bottom line: Unless you're a card-carrying member of the "Deathcore Band of the Month" club, give this one a pass.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)