August 20, 2009 | | 3.5

Ambassador Gun, When in Hell

With one foot firmly planted in the grind-core realm, Minneapolis’ Ambassador Gun throw every variety of metal into the mix in one way or another. From thundering grooves to basement punk. From death metal riffing to progressive tempo shifts, this trio unleash 16 heart pounding tracks in under 29 minutes time. Buckle up and hold on. You’re in for a nasty ride into a rusty blender attached to a diesel engine.

Killed Hookers Money
Thick guitars and pile driving drums erupt from the speakers as this 1:20 long song gets you in the right frame of mind for the rest of the disc. The dual vocal attack combines mid-range to low-range guttural screams and grunts into a nicely timed vocal pattern that fits the flow of the manic attack perfectly.

Serpent Stampede
Following a brief sound clip a Slyer-like riff gets “Serpent Stampede” off to a furious start as blasting drums and the layered dual vocal attack unleash grinding hell on your skull. There’s a Blessing the Hogs feel to the vocals every now and again. I’m digging it.

Nine seconds of distant guitar noise. Enjoy.

Ignorance Is This
“Ignorance Is This” has a slick groove that’ll pummel your brain cage into dust and have your neck snapped in no time. The guitars don’t have your typical grind-core tone and the rhythms are catchy and head bangingly addictive. At least, the first 42 seconds are like that. The latter half of the song is sonically destructive to all those in earshot. Crashing drums and blasting double bass accompany discordant guitars to finish out the track with the dual vocal screamed attack. The tempo shifts throughout this song will leave you a wobbly in the knees. At nearly three minutes in length this song is by far one of the more organized and well structured.

When In Hell
The title track erupts quickly out of the gate with blasting drums, dual growls and shouts, as well as driving riffs. There’s a boat load of stuff going on in this two minute monstrosity, including animalistic blasts, thick groove and nicely timed vocal patterns.

A brief sound clip starts this one off but is severely beaten into oblivion with thick, textured guitars and monster drumming. The dual vocal attack is in full on destruction mode in this song. This is definitely a favorite on the disc.

“Sopristine” is a churning mass of grinding drums, layered screams and static-fueled guitars. This is a violent, aggressive, head-on collision in every way. Holy shit.

Organization Of An Anthill
There’s a little Red Chord flavor to this one, but it’s only a minor addition to the chugging riffs and denseness of the song. Ambassador Gun sure know how to pack a plethora of textures and fullness into rather compact, grinding songs. The vocals seem to have a more intense overall presence to them as they utter guttural growls and aggressive screams.

Steady Diet
Not so much grinding as it is pummeling, the thick riffs on this one push the listener along as subtle melodies weave their way in between manic rhythm blasts and vocals attacks. This is another stellar track that will have you drooling for more. Throw in a little Napalm Death into the mix and you’re got a sure classic.

Taylor Reign
Wow. There is a great feel to the guitars throughout this song, throwing the listener for a near 180 shift in tone and presentation. There’s a bit of a post-hardcore, alternative feel to moments of warbling guitars and steady rhythms. This is a nice change up from the dense, sludgy grind so far delivered on the album.

Animal Fight
Ambassador Gun continue to mix things up in the latter half of the album with a more punk flavored feel to this grinding razor blade slide into battery acid.

Death Nail
“Death Nail” has some seriously thundering, rapid fire drums to get you into the crushing mix of layered screams, driving riffs and thick rhythms. This is another short, violent ride into churning oblivion.

More maniacal drumming and mid-range shouts get “Reprisal” off to a thick, bruising start. The guys settle into a decent groove about 25 seconds in and proceed to keep you off balance with tempo shifts, manic blasts and semi-melodic guitar tones. For as many shifts there are in this song, it’s actually quite cohesive and flows pretty well.

Population Control
Guttural vocals and driving riffs get this next one off of a beefy start as plenty of stop/go drumming keeps things entertaining. This is a fun track to shout along with and reminds me a bit of some of the stuff Zombie Apocalypse used to do.

Bottom Feeder
Violent and aggressive are two adjectives that don’t nearly do this song justice. The opening is full on fury as the band shifts into a steady groove with lighter guitar tones before descending periodically into the churning, grinding void of dense textures and vehemence.

The final song starts off with a great bit of memorable guitar work and steady drums for the first 18 seconds or so before the drums ramp up the rolling thunder and the vocals come in. The :43 mark sees an abrupt shift into blasting grind with thick, guttural vocals and discordant guitars. The song ends sharply, leaving you with only one option — hit play and hang on for another ride.

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Favorite Tracks:
All of them

Additional Notes: