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Lynchmada: To The Earth

It seems that every time I walk through my house, my daughter has a new Metalcore act blaring through here speakers (yes, I taught her well!), proving that the competition in this genre is tough and plentiful. Stepping up to the plate are Queensland, Australia fret pounders Lynchmada, who return after an absence of six year to tempt you with their third album To The Earth. The real trick to making this style of Metal rather convincing is to somehow avoid sounding like every other band striking these poses and while Lynchmada do indeed serve up grinding riffs, rasping, growled vocals, thunderous bass drums and those layered clean vocals that it seems every band in the world has right now. Thankfully Metal by numbers To The Earth is not.

Blasting out of the traps with the short, sharp, snail paced, fist of fury that is "What Fresh Hell Is This", it is clear that LM mean business, although maybe one of the band's more sprightly offering would have made for a more exciting first impression. Spoken sections interact with the harsher vocals, revealing one of the strengths of To The Earth, with the vocal arrangements never content to sit still, or do one thing for more than a few minutes. From there things pick up considerably, with powerful clean vocal hooks soaring over solid guitar work, pummelling drums and the magnificently delivered growls. For a band delivering their third album, although their first in six years, the songs are remarkably slick, although not in a way that compromises the aggressive impact. "Broken Bones", "Burial Ground" and "Earth I Walk" snag the bull's-eye, with the precise bass work and twin guitar engine firing at full pelt. However it is the clever arranging and expertly mixing/mastering work courtesy of Nik Carpenter (Devolved) and Zeuss (Hatebreed/Chimaira/Shadows Falls) that really helps to raise an above average set of songs to something that hints at greatness.

Interestingly the opening six songs on the album all concentrate on showing Lynchmada flexing their rippling muscles. However as we wind our way towards the album's conclusion, a few welcome twists are also thrown in. "Harbinger" trudges through 2 minutes of sludgy drone, before "Twenty Seven Years" champions melody, both in the guitar work and the vocals. From there "Whitewater Born" reverts to type, before "City Of Lungs" offers up a gentler acoustic guitar and voice to counterpoint everything that has come before. Closing the album out "Relic" then borrows from all that has come before, verging into almost epic territory and making for a memorable conclusion.

Not quite a masterpiece, To The Earth does suggest that Lynchmada are knocking on the door to the big leagues. Hopefully a shorter time away will see them capitalise on their undoubted potential.

Track Listing
01. What Fresh Hell Is This?
02. Throat Of Stone
03. Broken Bones
04. Earth I Walk
05. Blackout
06. Burial Ground
07. Harbinger
08. Twenty Seven Years
09. What Water Born
10. City Of Lungs
11. Relic

Added: August 28th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Lynchmada on Facebook
Hits: 1874
Language: english

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Lynchmada: To The Earth
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-08-28 07:33:00
My Score:

If the recent explosion of groovy and thrashy metalcore acts has appealed to you even slightly, Australia's Lynchmada may be a band well-worth your time. Formed in 2002, the five-piece has since released two full-length albums, with 2011's To The Earth being the band's first for Truth Inc. Records. Borrowing elements from metalcore, thrash metal, death metal, and sludge metal, To The Earth is a very modern sounding observation indeed, but also one that should have a wide appeal within the metal community - Lynchmada strikes a fine balance between melody and brutality, and their firm grasp on memorable songwriting sets them apart from the legions of generic deathcore acts. While To The Earth may not entirely reinvent the genre, Lynchmada offers an approach to metalcore that sounds both fresh and inspired.

This album brings names like Meshuggah, Killswitch Engage, and Suicide Silence to mind with its pummeling riffs, complex rhythms, and occasional touches of melody, and while I may not be a huge fan of all the aforementioned acts, Lynchmada creates a style of thrashy deathcore that I really like. The main focus of this album may be to create crushingly heavy riffs (this is an album that needs to be played loud!), but unlike a few of their other contemporaries, Lynchmada does not forget to incorporate diversity and melody into their music. Songs like "Blackout", which contains a section that could've been straight out of a post-rock album, help make those dense breakdowns feel all the more powerful. To The Earth does occasionally slip into deathcore cliches, but I was generally blown away by the masterful sense of composition exhibited on this effort. Once you factor in the stunning musicianship and flawless production, it's clear that we're dealing with a very professional product.

To The Earth may not be a revelation for the metalcore genre as a whole, but if you call yourself a fan of the style, Lynchmada offers enough originality and class to make this worth a purchase. The band offers a sense of warmth and personality that I seldom find in today's crowded and sterile deathcore scene, and that alone makes Lynchmada an act worth keeping your eyes on.

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