Review Summary: A very enjoyable thrash blast from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Grim Force are a retro-80’s thrash metal band from Japan, featuring Ritual Carnage guitarist Katusyuke Nakabayashi (who here doubles as a lead singer), drummer Masaki Kamomiya and female bass player Sonoe Takahata. On their debut album, they were helped by Ritual Carnage/former X Japan guitarist Eddie van Koide, who shares soloing duties with Nabakayashi on almost every track (apart from closer Struggle
). The formation has changed a lot since the release of this album, but the style remains.
On Circulation to Conclusion
, the band present seven tracks of extreme, crushing thrash metal, with Nabakayashi writing all the songs and the other two members splitting lyrical duties. Their influences keep within the confines of 80’s thrash, but range from Slayer to Sodom, and even a few touches of Vader and Sepultura. The big star here is drummer Kamomiya, who delivers crushing breaks and seismic beats at every turn. Katabayashi’s solos are also a high point, often straying from pure thrash to encompass somo shredding and even some experimentation. Curiously, Eddie’s solos are much more prototypical, often reminding us of early Sodom and Destruction. As for Sonoe, she keeps the beat expertly, but without much ado.
Instrumentally, then, all is more than well. The weakest link is Nabakayashi’s voice. Not thrashy enough to fit in the instrumental and not deathly enough to constitute an actual style crossover, it wanders somewhere in between these two styles, often reminding us of Vader’s Peter, with a few touches of Max Cavalera thrown in the mix. However, while this is a low point in the album, it never detracts from the quality of the group’s thrash.
And there’s plenty of quality on the seven tracks on offer here. Particularly high points are The Haunted-esque God Cries, World Dies
, following track World Of Chaos
and closing track Struggle
. The first two are straightforward thrash blasts, while the latter assumes a much more experimental attitude, with a more mid-tempo pace and Sonoe Takahata’s female vocals on the bridge, making it the absolute high point of this album, while God Cries…
ranks as the most effective chorus.
In short, despite the somewhat maladjusted vocals, this record should please any self-respecting thrash fan. Now, all Grim Force need to do is get rid of the clunky filler that can be found even among these meagre seven tracks.
God Cries, World Dies
World Of Chaos