Kyrbgrinder - 'Chronicles Of A Dark Machine'

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Kyrbgrinder - 'Chronicles Of A Dark Machine'

There's a brand of Metal in there that could potentially be popular and successful as it has stormy energy and some great musicianship.

Kyrbgrinder are a three-piece band from London playing a powerful, heavily drum-focused style of Metal. The elements are all there but somehow they just don't come together in their latest album 'Chronicles Of A Dark Machine'.

'Slipping Away' introduces you to the bludgeoning riffs from guitarist Aaron Waddingham, though he's entirely capable of a complex solo or two, notably in 'Egocentric Suicide'. Johanne James is a terrifically energetic and persistent drummer but as a vocalist he often seems shy of a melody that really connects to the song. As the Funky, offset rhythm of 'Oxygen' shows, this album is more about instrumentation and production than something you're going to sing or dance along to.

The production is very clean with each texture and sound audible, which is impressive given the ridiculously diverse array of sounds. The acoustic section in 'Oxygen' is just a flavour of the different directions that Kyrbgrinder's songs can suddenly veer off to; while interesting, it doesn't always work to make distinct, stand-alone songs.

'I Know Why' has a strangely light-hearted tone compared to the rest of the stormy album. 'I Feel Blue' is pretty self-explanatory with a dragging beat and by this point, the album is begging for a bit more variety, especially as more and more instrumental paths are taken towards the ends of the songs.

'Take Your Soul Away' has a more roughed-up, fractured rhythm and is catchier overall. The backing vocals taking a more central role in the chorus help to fill out the vocals too. This track contains all Kyrbgrinder's best qualities and they actually complement each other fairly well. The title track is a soft, ghoulish guitar melody; potentially could have worked great in a song but at only a minute and a half, we'll never know.

Overall, there's a brand of Metal in there that could potentially be popular and successful as it has stormy energy and some great musicianship. Unfortunately, the album as a whole is rather monotonous.

Sophie Brownlee

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