A record that took it’s time to come out and was on top of my wait list last year, was very anticipated and to many surprising collective vinyl re-release of Grimlock‘s Songs Of Self cd and their first 7″; Thirst For Immortality. Songs Of Self was originally released only on cd and as all of Gridlock records are a hell to find anywhere, this new edition is called Songs Of Immortality. It brings Grimlock’s pure crushing metallic violence to another generation of hardcore heads. Knives Out Records has again dropped a real gem for all those, who like their records looking as good as they sound, besides also making an huge favor to the hardcore scene by re-releasing Grimlock material after a long, long time. Wait for this 12″ was quite long, as last year’s record store day fucked most of smaller record plant’s schedules and diy run label’s orders were pushed back in timetables. Big business labels put out all kinds of craphole records, as they’ve realized people buy RSD stuff like apeshit. This only of course makes small business labels suffer as their pressing times are becoming lengthy and unpredictable. Songs Of Immortality took it’s time to come out, but the wait, it was again well worth it.
For those who have never heard of Grimlock, the band originated from Boston, Massachusetts area back in 1994. Musically Grimlock were on their own level even back then as “brutality, heavy as possible” -would be the terms i’d use to describe their music. Grimlock put out relatively good amount of releases during their lifespan. First demo tape came out in 1995 and after it, they steadily toured and put out a release almost early. Thirst Of Immortality 7″ was released also in ’95 and the first album, Songs Of Self cd in 1997. Follow up record, Crusade Of Reality cd/10″ was released also in Europe, it came out in 1998. Year after that in 1999, they did a split 7″ with japanese band Rebirth, after of which, they shortly went into hiatus. Final Grimlock opus, mcd Crusher arrived in 2002, when the band returned to stages to tour. That unfortunately lasted only a year, since in 2003 Grimlock called it quits.
First time i heard Grimlock, was few years after Crusher was released and it hit me right away. Metallic fury combined with one of the angriest voices in hardcore hooked me right away to Grimlock’s sound and it didn’t hurt, that their name was taken from one of the most boss Transformers chracters ever. Staying largely under the surface of larger hardcore audiences, at least in Europe, during years for many Grimlock has become very sought after band, that i totally can understand (i’m missing only the Rebirth Split 7″ and the demo tape from my collection…). Grimlock is truly an amazing band, whose heaviness was in their own level and that put out extremely great records, still they feel today like a hidden gem in the world of hardcore. Few years back LA’s Ruckus put out their appreciation for Grimlock on the map, as they recorded a cover of Mountain Of Power (off Thirst For Immortality 7″) on a limited Split 10″ with, (their other band) Twitching Tongues. Other than that, i haven’t heard many people even mention Grimlock and was super surprised and happy when i heard from Tonr (Knives Out Records & Providence) that he’s going to release something from them.
If you have read my previous reviews of Knives Out releases, you’ll know that they put special effort in what they do. Grimlock layout features lots of live shots and poster / flyer artwork. Two different versions were available during pre-order process, deluxe and classic. Now already sold out deluxe (that my review is based on) features iconic “24” cut in layout, digital download card, patches, pins and an art book titled; Visuals Of Immortality. The book contains lots of never before seem live photos, in which the records artwork is based on mostly and includes as well a story compiling together Grimlock’s walk as a band. So called normal, the classic version comes with same glorious picture vinyl that deluxe, but with a simpler version of the layout and download card is of course included too. I could go on forever how amazing this package is, i can only say that if Knives Out Records is still a new accointance to you, correct that shit out right now and order some of the most amazing looking records you’ll ever own (hint; Arkangel 10″ is available now)!
Song Of Immortality starts with tracks on Songs Of Self and then goes into Thirst For Immortality. The record kicks in with one of the most vicious songs in Grimlock arsenal, My Sins and it’s right here, where you hear why this band is called brutal, the intensity of this metallic mayhem is unparalled; “World’s closing in, don’t know where to begin. I am angry all the time. I hate, i hate all the time”. Cry Of The Dead, builds up with hard and menacing guitar wall, that continues just by turning into slower and heavier as the song processes on. Eye Of The World, follows up, throwing some speed into gear, but it’s again filled with raging breakdowns, the kind of most of today’s heavy bands unfortunately can just dream about writing of. Processed thrusts again into pure, fierce heaviness and it’s all nothing but crushing riffs after another, ’till the mosh part at the end takes over; “FAKE”. Life (After Silence) is almost of an instrumental mosh factory and as the lyrics comprise pretty much as of the song title only, this song has always had like a intro/interlude feel to me in a way. One of the most well known Grimlock songs ever is probably, 24, it is all pure chugging mayhem and tells about legendary hockey fighting champion Bob Probert; “A gladiator primed for battle. A notch above the rest. Drop of the gloves, never backs down. Made to be the best.”.
Originally released back in 1995 by Pin Drop Records (as Songs Of Self cd is too), Thirst For Immortality tracks portray mosh ridden, heavy jams, that aren’t yet as metal influenced than Songs Of Self. Bring The Pain, Feed My Rage and Mountain Of Power –all still represent very powerful and violent hardcore songs, there’s so many part full of face crushing heaviness. These songs remain as few of my favourite Grimlock tracks, even though this whole record is full of pure fucking excellence. Last track, Thirst For Immortality, acts an outro for the record, originally it appeared on Songs Of Self cd as final track, with all three songs from the 7″ as bonus tracks. Songs Of Immortality brings together Grimlock to many new hardcore enthuastics, or so i can hope at least!
If you haven’t ever heard of this band before, i strongly advise you to let Grimlock take you into it’s jaws and crush you in to pieces, most likely you will enjoy it. For any fans of hokest, agressive and brutal hardcore such as Cold As Life, Shattered Realm, Overcast, (early) Harebreed and such bands. Note, that Songs Of Immortality is very limited pressing on picture vinyl and i’m not even sure how many copies Knives Out has in stock at the moment, so check out their store right away.
Here you can stream through the entire album.
Grimlock – Mad Titan -video (from 2002 Crusher mcd)