Gridlink Amber Gray

Many have been twiddling their thumbs, fiending for new material from any Discordance Axis member following their monumental swansong, The Inalienable Dreamless, some seven years ago. The wait is over, although a 13-minute EP leaves something to be desired, as far as volume of material is concerned. Nonetheless, vocalist Jon Chang’s new project is a monster — 11 tracks of strangely accessible-sounding grindcore that comes across at times like Cryptic Slaughter gone power violence. Melodic thrash riffs saw at the listener mercilessly at breakneck speeds while the furious rhythm section packs all the subtlety of a jackhammer pounding away outside your window at six a.m. For DA fans, this should be expected, although it should be said that Gridlink utilise a riffing style that resonates with surprising catchiness and melody, bringing them closer to some of Relapse’s more traditional acts. Chang’s vocals sear mercilessly over the top and what they lack in dynamics is made up for in the intensity of their delivery. A must purchase for fans of grindcore or crossover, and one of 2008’s most pleasant surprises thus far. (Hydra Head)