"Random Dictionary of the Damned" (Open Grave; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Downlord features the ex-singer of pioneering metal act Bolt Thrower, so right off the bat you know this quintet is going to be scathing. 

Expectedly unleashing a mid-90's metallic crunch which doles out equal amounts of crust, death, and groove, there's a lot of intense vocals to be had here, not to mention a barrage of machine gun riffs and cavernous double bass drums which upgrade tracks such as "Loathe, Scorn, Detest" and "Sleep Forever" from stock to solid. 

If you dig bands like Carcass, Cathedral, Cannibal Corpse, and Napalm Death, this disc delivers. 

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"Grind Trials - The Demo EP" (Open Grave; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Downlord's "Grind Trials" is a collection of captured chaos that sounds amazingly complete in its demo form. Consisting of tracks from the band's first two demos (several tracks have been deleted to avoid unnecessary duplication), this seven track disc is fast, furious and undeniably brutal. 

With a sound faster (and probably heavier) than -- but reminiscent of -- Bolt Thrower and Benediction, "Grind Trials" takes the listener by surprise by not only delivering a pummeling death metal roar but by throwing in metal hooks and catchy riffs that give it an odd but welcome accessibility. Don't get me wrong -- there aren't any radio hits to be found on this CD -- but those who are turned off by extreme metal may find "Grind Trials" surprisingly listenable while those into the deeper, darker sounds will find plenty here to feed their rage.

The production is adequate but obviously flawed; these are demos, after all. I look forward to hearing finalized versions of these already impressive recordings.

Downlord: Dave Ingram (Vocals); Donovan Spenceley (Guitar); Rene Falther (Guitar); Thomas Fagerlind (Bass); Rasmus Schmidt (Drums).

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2022 15:00:08 -0400 .