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Kyrbgrinder: Chronicles of a Dark Machine

Most progressive metal fans no doubt are well aware of drummer Johanne James, who has been manning the kit for UK's Threshold for some time now, but he's also been leading his own act, Kyrbgrinder, since 2000. Joined by bassist Dave Lugay and guitarist Aaron Waddingham, James also lends strong lead vocals to this band, who play a style of music that blends heavy metal, funk, and classic rock into a very engaging, enjoyable presentation. Chronicles of a Dark Machine is their third release, available on Cherry Red Records.

With a style that hints at Sevendust, Rush, Living Colour, and King's X, Kyrbgrinder's music features a huge bottom end, loads of heavy riffs, and catchy melodies. Tunes like "Captain America" and "Kill Them All" are instantly memorable, with anthemic choruses and deep, beefy guitar riffs, while the intricate rhythms of "Egocentric Suicide" and "Slipping Away" show just how much of the progressive influence James brings over from Threshold. "Oxygen" is one of the albums more complex pieces, atmospheric but with layers of both light & heavy guitars as well as fabulous drum work. James' lead vocals are strong throughout, though his style brings more of a pop/funk/soul element to the bands sound, which surprisingly blends well with their thunderous attack. On the down side, a few of the songs have a generic feel, like the rap/reggae/nu-metal strains of "Taking Control", which seems severely outdated, and the Green Day on steroids track "I Know Why", but overall I think there's enough quality here that the band should start to see additional fans flock to their stable. "I Feel Blue" is a reason why you should investigate this band; those grinding riffs, massive grooves, and catchy hooks certainly are addictive.

Not a perfect album by any means, but certainly enjoyable, Kyrbgrinder (major props for the band name by the way!) are looking to be a force to be reckoned with on the heavy rock circuit, and with Chronicles of a Dark Machine they are quickly making their way towards that.

Track Listing
1) Slipping Away
2) Captain America
3) Kill Them All
4) Egocentric Suicide
5) Oxygen
6) Taking Control
7) I Know Why
8) I Feel Blue
9) Take Your Soul
10) Chronicles of a Dark Machine

Added: August 25th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2152
Language: english

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Kyrbgrinder: Chronicles of a Dark Machine
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-08-25 15:59:23
My Score:

London based Kyrbgrinder features Threshold drummer Johanne James, guitarist Aaron Waddingham and Dave Lugay on bass. Their latest album Chronicles Of A Dark Machine was released this past March on Cherry Red Records.

Chronicles Of A Dark Machine is their third album and is the first I have heard from the band. If you like melodic metal I suggest you give this one a listen. Heavy guitar crunch and an excellent rhythm section elevate this power trio above most modern metal releases I have heard lately. Besides drums, James also lays down excellent lead vocals. His voice is melodic and full and there are some nice background harmonies to be found as well particularly in the melodic metal of "Captain America" which sounds like a heavier version of King's X. The heavy "Egocentric Suicide" is another melodic tour d force as are the catchy riff progressions in "Oxygen" which also includes the occasional acoustic guitar to mellow things out. Another favourite is "I Know Why", a vibrant slice of punkier metal that reminded me of The Jam at times which is never a bad thing. "Take Your Soul" does bear a slight resemblance to Threshold, as it wouldn't be far out of place on the Dead Reckoning album. Just remember the album is really nothing like James' main band.

The album ends with the short atmospheric title track which I would have liked to be developed further as it seemed to end way to soon.

As far as sound quality goes, Karl Groom provided engineering and production so it should come as no surprise the recording sounds great.

With no bad tracks in the bunch, Chronicles Of A Dark Machine is one of the better metal releases I have heard thus far and is one I can easily recommend for any fan of heavy riff based music.

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