Rumpelstiltskin Grinder - Living for Death, Destroying the Rest (2009)

Article originally published on on 15th January 2011.

Rumpelstiltskin Grinder, a thrash band formed in Pennsylvania in 2002 have released their second studio album Living for Death, Destroying the Rest.

I personally had not been aware of the band before being given their latest album. Consequently, I don’t know a lot about Rumpelstiltskin Grinder other than the small bits and pieces of information that I managed to find on the internet about them.

The band members include Shawn Riley on bass, Pat Battaglia on drums, and Ryan Moll on lead guitar. The group has gone through a number of vocalists over the years, but have settled with Matt Moore on this record.

I’m not even sure if they’re a serious band, and after reading the bio on their website I’m sure anyone could understand why.

Anyway, as vague as I am about the band’s background I’ll continue on.

The album is solid enough for a modern thrash outfit. The songs are heavy with some catchy riffs; notably Nothing Defeats the Skull, Traitor’s Blood and Beware the Thrash Brigade, each of which will have you stomping your foot and tapping your fingers.

The record for the most part has a relatively tongue in cheek, or even a fun vibe throughout. For example, the fifth song on the album, Spyborg, tells the story of a mechanical being with eyes of lasers and backward legs built by a dying ghost. At least it’s not your usual thrash metal affair in terms of lyrical topics.

The album does close on a more serious note however, with the sinister three parter: Sewers of Doom (Dethroning the Tyrant Pt 1), Darkness Never Ending (Dethroning the Tyrant Pt 2), Revolution of Underground Legions (Dethroning the Tyrant Pt 3), which should satisfy anyone looking for heavy and to the point thrash.

Packaging and Sound Quality

The record comes packaged in a thick cardboard outer cover sleeve, and as a nice extra the vinyl itself is housed in a second cardboard sleeve. Printed on the the inner sleeve is artwork and lyrics for all the songs included on the album.

The vinyl is coloured orange, which perfectly compliments the colour scheme of the album artwork and in itself looks quite impressive. It isn’t perfect however; some slight imperfections are visible on the vinyl. Either the vinyl isn’t of the best quality, the packaging techniques aren’t the best, or the master press had impurities.

As for sound quality, I did notice that the overall sound is slightly muted or muffled, so we’re not dealing with an audiophile pressing here. I gather from the artwork provided, and the fact that the vinyl is orange, I think that the emphasis is certainly on packaging and artwork as opposed to sound quality. It would be nice to see both aspects being paid attention to though.

The visible imperfections mentioned earlier made their way through as being evenly spaced pops and clicks at certain points while playing the record. A bit of manual click removal is required if you intend to digitally transfer the record.

When compared to mastering effort done on the CD, the vinyl in this case loses out. I have the feeling that it’s the same master as used on the CD. When you take in to consideration the impurities that were present on the vinyl and the overall "muffled" sound, if you’re looking for the best sounding version of this album, grab the CD. If however you want to see some cool artwork and a nice looking orange record, by all means you’ll be satisfied with the vinyl release.

Uniquely fun for a thrash album, but enough serious elements to keeps everyone entertained.

Thick cardboard and an extra cardboard inner sleeve with plently of excellent artwork. Good job with the orange vinyl too.

Sound quality:
Overall muffled and contains imperfections which result in clicks in certain bits. Not this record’s strong point.

Final thoughts:
An entertaining album with interesting packaging and format. Sound quality is where this one falls short.