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Christgrinder - "Smoke Crack, Worship Satan" (CD/EP)

Christgrinder - "Smoke Crack, Worship Satan" CD/EP cover image

"Smoke Crack, Worship Satan" track listing:

1. The Faceless Monarch (5:33)
2. Smoke Crack, Worship Satan (5:18)
3. Nietzchenesis (4:08)
4. Angelflesh Tapestry (3:58)
5. The Grinding of the Christ (5:30)

Reviewed by on August 27, 2011

"Defying the odds and completely blowing away any preconceived notions, Christgrinder’s debut EP is a blistering blackened death metal experience that is easily on par with some of the established acts in extreme metal."

Normally a title like “Smoke Crack, Worship Satan” wouldn’t inspire confidence that the actual music is worth anyone’s time, but potential listeners shouldn’t let the over the top name fool them. Defying the odds and completely blowing away any preconceived notions, Christgrinder’s debut EP is a blistering blackened death metal experience easily on par with some of the established acts in extreme metal.

Taking a death metal sound of the more melodic variety and tempering it in the frozen hatred of good old black metal, the five tracks on the EP strike a balance between styles that keeps things fresh and interesting. The release doesn’t lack in either heaviness or solid song construction, having tracks that are both brutal and interesting to listen to over multiple spins. Every now and again, a bit of a doom vibe can also be heard in some of the slower segments.

Although the music is plenty aggressive and about as abrasive as black metal gets, each song generally takes an atmospheric bent without actually ending up in symphonic black metal territory. “Nietzchenesis,” on the other hand, is more frantic and guitar heavy than the rest of the tracks, creating the opposite of the standard melodic or instrumental interlude track. “Angelflesh Tapestry” picks up afterwards and lives up to its namesake, ending up a grotesque frame for an evil masterpiece blending together faster death metal bits with classic tortured sounding black metal and even a little Kovenant influence in there with the distorted vocals.

“Smoke Crack, Worship Satan” is much more competently executed than would be expected from an unknown band’s debut release. Unfortunately the sound quality isn’t on par with signed, big-budget bands, but that’s a given when dealing with underground extreme metal acts. With a little boost in the sound production department, these songs wouldn’t be out of place among the upper tiers of blackened death metal acts.

Highs: Puts together the best of death metal with the atmosphere and abrasiveness of black metal.

Lows: Sound quality is decent but not great, ending up a bit muted.

Bottom line: A blackened death metal debut that has a properly evil mix of style and substance.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)