Review Summary: Like an explosive device, Amber Grays impact is powerful and intense and will leave you scrambling for cover, only to leave you open mouthed at the horrors of its aftermath.
Jon Chang, a name infamous within grind core. Former front man of one of the greatest grind bands of all time (discordance axis) and well known throughout the genre as an extremely driven and hard working individual who works tirelessly to achieve his goals whether it be through music, art or other ventures. So after the unplanned end of discordance axis due to guitarist Rob Marton’s health issues, Jon Chang then went on to form Gridlink with guitarist Takafumi Matsubara, and drummer Bryan Fajardo in order to continue working within the grind core framework.
The question on most fans lips hearing this was “could this even begin to compare to his work with discordance axis?” as many grind fans still to this day hail The Inalienable Dreamless as the greatest grind album of all time. But these people should have known better than to doubt Chang and the other musicians involved, because this, the first album from Gridlink, equals and at time possibly even surpasses the speed, intensity and technicality of the inalienable dreamless. This hyper speed grind behemoth tears out of the speakers from the get go and flaws you with it’s sheer level of intensity. Clocking in at only 11 minutes and 50 seconds there are no stand out or stand alone moments within this release as there is no fat or excess here with everything being streamlined to give maximum impact and effectiveness.
Although Changs drive and determination behind the project are undoubtedly the driving force behind Gridlinks vision, the real plaudits of this release deserve to go to drummer Bryan Fajardo and guitarist Takafumi Matsubara. With Fajardo’s drumming remaining fast, technical and intense throughout while at the same time constantly varying in attack and approach without sounding at odds with any other element of the bands sound. This approach and variation works perfectly and compliments the amazing guitar work. Bringing us to the star of the show, guitarist Takafumi Matsubara. Because the riffs on this album are some of the finest within the genre, seemingly being able to take influence from various other genres styles (some riffs could easily fit into a black metal album) without impacting the overall feel of the songs or structures. With Matsubara proving to be a virtuoso within the genre managing to construct riffs displaying his amazing technical prowess while retaining a catchiness to the riffs that draws you in before pinning you to the wall.
Like an explosive device, Amber Grays impact is powerful and intense and will leave you scrambling for cover, only to leave you open mouthed at the horrors of its aftermath.