Stampin' Ground A New Darkness Upon Us

Always vaguely embarrassing admitting how much I get into this thick-necked metallic hardcore stuff, but when it’s done this well, how can anyone resist? Like other thick-neckers All Out War and Hatebreed (don’t beat me up, I like these bands), Stampin’ Ground may have a funny band name but manage to deliver some punishing hardcore regardless. Best part is the guitar work, recalling bands like the Haunted or Slayer more than any NYHC crud, for the most part, anyway. The production makes all the difference, and here Andy Sneap manages to fuck up the bass drums to the point where they sound like a typewriter (come on, we know drums don’t sound like that!) but makes everything else sound damned good. Thick, heavy and full, this is a solid listen, and even if a few songs in ennui starts to take over, the band’s relentless riffery will keep everyone entertained until album’s end. (Century Media)