Landmine Marathon - Wounded

Sunday at 10:59 PM

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"I'm from Arizona and I can attest that our local music scene sucks. There are occasionally a few decent bands but they never go anywhere. The exception to this would be Suicide Nation releasing 2 LPs and a split with Yaphet Kotto (who now play in the slaytanic Saviours). Unruh comes ahead with 2 LPs and a few more splits. So what's the point of this history lesson on one of the worst states for hardcore? Landmine Marathon consists of ex-Suicide Nation dudes and has a sound sort of reminiscent of Unruh. And they have a new album out on Level Plane Records? While definitively the home of emo-violence, I guess they are branching out with the recent signings of Landmine Marathon and Graf Orlock. So I definitely wouldn't complain except for...

The art for the Wounded is lame. Photoshopped and uninspired come to mind. And while the production should have soaring and alternately guttural riffs shredding all over the place, it fails to deliver the goods in brutal-grind fashion. The majority of the recording is adequately heavy, but the high end is totally lacking. To me Level Plane is synonymous with well-produced, well-packaged, and extremely creative releases. So what I want to know is how did the presentation side of this release slip through the cracks? The performance end, though, is phenomenal.

Now you want to know, "What does it actually sound like? ... Like a mixture of old Earache releases. While I am definitely not the most knowledgeable Earache historian, I can definitely pick out the Terrorizer and Carcass influences, but updated, more technical, and catchier. The weighty riffs are awesomely flavored with some At the Gates styled leads that don't sound like At the Gates. I don't know. I hate At the Gates, so imagine Converge doing early-90s metal leads. Like that. The blasts are something more akin to D-beat than grind, so the songs aren't obnoxiously fast like anything that belongs on Willowtip. The vocals are intensely screamed, only dropping into a death growl once or twice, which is something I would normally have an aversion to, but it's done well. The lyrics, though, are definitely Level Plane material since I mostly have no idea what the hell she's talking about. A lot of interesting metaphors that eschew the gory side of this kind of material.

I don't want to give the false impression that this is all metal. I think of it as grind-influenced metalcore before metalcore become a dirty, filthy, vulgar, insipid, stupid, moronic, weak, pathetic shadow of itself. Something more akin to Creation is Crucifixion than Job for a Cowboy. Wounded
is best played loudly."

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