SOUL GRINDER – Chronicles Of Decay

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label URL: Black Sunset / MDD
Released: 2020
Buy Album: Discogs / MDD Records
Band Website: Facebook / Instagram

Band line-up:

Mathias Junge – Vocals / Bass
Jan Resmer – Guitar / Backing Vocals
Matè “Balrogh” Balogh – Drums

Tracklisting:

1. Infernal Suffering (3:49)
2. Flesh Defiler (3:41)
3. Ruins Of Existence (4:22)
4. My Unwilling Giver (4:10)
5. Morbid Masquerade (4:20)
6. The Sun And The Serpent (4:06)
7. The Delusionist (4:13)
8. Signs Of Decline (3:39)
9. March Of The Dead (4:24)
10. The Withering (6:24)
11. Hymn Of Death (4:29)

Review

In January 2018, a trio was formed in Bremen, which from the first note on has dedicated itself to fast, uncompromising death metal with a feeling for the sound of the old school. We’re talking about Soul Grinder, who made a scene wide name for themselves with their “Sadistic Parasite” titled EP in the same year. Now with “Chronicles Of Decay” the debut long-player of the Germans is available to prove that they can keep up with the expectations which were stoked with the EP.

“Chronicles of Decay” contains 11 tracks of finest Death Metal lasting 45 minutes, from Blast Speed Attacks to groovy steamrollers and mystical hymns. Without straying too far from the core of brutal death metal, the band offers an enormous range on their debut, and thus is a varied and stirring first album. The self-recorded and produced album features several guest appearances by musicians from the band’s circle of friends, so on “Chronicles of Decay” you listen also to members of Negator, Endseeker, and Fear Connection.

The album doesn’t hold back on the Death Metal elements as the listener is instantly thrown into them during the opening track Infernal Suffering. The heavy drum patterns, growling vocals, and tremolo picking are immediately present within the first few seconds of the track. This helps set the tone for the album.

From Flesh Defiler to Signs of Decline, there was a sense of generic themes that could be considered as uninteresting and repetitive. However, the tracks in that range have their unique merits such as The Sun And The Serpent using choir vocals to create an atmosphere of biblical/satanic imagery or Signs of Decline featuring isolated vocals which are backed up Balrogh’s drum fill.

One track that stood out to me was March Of The Dead as it featured great rhythmic sections with a complex solo to help encapsulate the feeling of being in a march. I found myself multiple times headbanging to this track. Similar elements of this track seemed to follow within The Withering around 4:55.

Concluding the album is Hymn Of Death. I found this to be a slower track than the others preceding it but it made a nice change in tone and helps create a decent finisher to this album.

The style-defining cover artwork is by the American artist Riddick Art, who has been known throughout the scene since 1991 with several logos and cover designs.

Chronicles of Decay is available to buy via Discogs and the MDD Records shop.

Review by Rossy Maguire
Share