Minions Engage is very good for its genre - and its genre is somewhere
between black and death metal, leading the American quartet to label themselves
"True Ohioan Bleath Metal". ("Bleath" is a concatenation of "black" and "death",
you see. Cheesy, ain't it?) To get an idea of the sound here, think early '90s
classics of the genre - or think of a more modern version of Darkthrone but
without the inventive originality.
A Gruesome Find doesn't quite play paint-by-numbers stuff, though. There are
some unconventional quirks thrown into the riffs, there are some well placed
tempo changes, and occasionally there is some good layering with keyboards
thrown in - typically well hidden in the mix. But there isn't enough of that
stuff to make it 'progressive' in any way - this is still clearly within the
camp of the Nordske/Svenske dark arts. The growling is - dare we say it - rather
well done, with a few imaginative ideas that lift it from the realm of the usual
monotony imposed by that style of vocals.
The execution is very good, the songwriting is okay, the production is
adequate, and the result is a well-above-average but uninspired slab of "bleath"
metal. The clear standout track is "The Nightmare Within" which has interesting
riffs, and quickly gets into a head-nodding groove, with a little clean played
lead solo, and almost power-metal oriented guitar lines toward the end.
Americans playing death- or black-metal? Consider this as a well-constructed
tribute to the European masters. And not only are they emulating the Norwegians'
music, but they've adopted the convention of giving themselves odd stage names -
Naberius, Lord Mininger, Deathcrush ... it's stupid when the Norwegians do it,
and it's just corny when the midwestern Americans copy it. Think of A Gruesome
Find as 'An American werewolf in Oslo'.
1. Minions Engage
2. Curse of Shedim
3. The Nightmare Within
4. Tree of Despair
5. Shroud of Darkness
6. Conquerors of the Darkland
7. Blood Red Moon
8. Pawns of the Deceiver