|Death Metal, Grindcore, Hardcore
October 22nd, 2010
When it comes to the Death Metal meets Grindcore world, it seems common to issue an album with a rough production quality. Of course, that’s basically what we have here. The vocals are a little further in the mix, handled in a growled shouting manner. The bass really sticks out in the mix with a very deep presence against sharper, dirtier distortions from the guitars, and even a twanging style that works quite well. The drumming comes through pretty natural, having clean cymbals that are pushed back like the vocals, hollow snares that pound away in the mix, and a nice click to the bass kick that can be masked as a thud when the music really picks up.
Almost immediately you are going to want to turn Golden Eagle off, at the very least turn the volume down really low. “Wounded Knee” kicks things off with some real obnoxious high pitched feedback that doesn’t last too long, but still has the potential to induce a headache. But, in it’s wake, comes a ruthless assault of Grindcore and subtle Death Metal riffs. The bass does a nice job maintaining the rhythm while the lead chords have a hectic or simpler performance throughout, especiallly towards the closing breakdown. “Warpainted” is another intense track that brings a bit of chaos to the mix, still retains a commanding atmosphere to it. The faster material finds some additional complexity in the riffs with various moments of feedback thrown in, making it a little more abrasive than it already is. The slower passage near the end ushers in more catchy Death Metal material, offering the only real rest from the punishing material before slamming in the furious Grindcore offering “Sunshine Acid.” The vocals are easily the most enthusiastic the album has to offer, pushing the distortion found on them. The chorus diverts from the traditional grinding heat, allowing the bass and drums to show through a little more compared to the rest of the song. Sadly, this is one of the very few enthusiastic tracks the album has to offer. “Christbastard” comes close, but there’s plenty of gaps that don’t quite bring in a good deal of energy, and the constant shifting between Grindcore and two-step Hardcore influence, or what appears to be, makes it a little rough to really get into.
“Unleashed” really focuses on the Grindcore in the main verses, then a catchy Death Metal presence in the bridges and chorus. The song’s lower tone is evident right away, and the bass-driven song really holds more of an impact from it. There’s a good amount of changes in the music that occur with excellent shifts, every one of them hammering away the listener like a blunt object before the hectic breakdown erupts near the two minute mark. Unfortunately the chaos doesn’t translate too well with the rougher audio, but the bass really does hold things together well enough to keep you interested and banging your head along with that groovey Death Metal sound that makes up much of the conclusion. While it isn’t quite as deep, “Crack Ikon” also finds a dominating bass-drive to the Death Metal heavy material. There are some sudden Grindcore shifts, but for the most part the song’s dirty yet mildly crushing groove is easy to get into, showing the appreciation the group has for the style well, and their ability to hone in one specific style without a large emphasis from another.
Ambassador Gun do an excellent job of taking what makes the Death Metal and Grindcore genre enjoyable, and adding a good deal of variety to it without falling prey to the stereotypes plaguing new bands of that style today. Golden Eagle isn’t a shot-for-shot remake of a Napalm Death album, and the rougher production quality really does give the music a more abrasive, even hostile approach. The only thing really lacking is the energy. While you can easily get into the music here, even bang your head to it or want to start a violent moshpit where you stand, there’s only a handful of songs that will really get your blood pumping. Even with that in mind, Golden Eagle is a fantastic bigger label debut for Ambassador Gun, and it’s clear they not only have fun playing the music, but also have a drive to assault the listener with as ruthless a sound as possible.
01. Wounded Knee – 3:13
02. Christbastard – 1:07
03. Slowbleed – 3:19
04. Warpainted – 2:22
05. Sunshine Acid – 1:58
06. Cover Tracks / Sever Ties – 2:51
07. Crack Ikon – 2:57
08. Chris Brown – 2:11
09. Unleashed – 3:23
10. Circle the Lord of Flies – 2:53
11. No Suffering – 4:02
|Overall Score: 8.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Prosthetic Records.