January 30, 2008 | | 3

Athrenody, Crazed Development

This release has quite the story behind it. In the early to mid 90’s Athrenody helped develop the burgeoning grindcore scene in California’s Bay Area. For several years the band spent time leveling venues with their take on grinding death metal. The band recorded this disc without vocals shortly before their break up. It wasn’t until several years later that Exhumed’s Matt Harvey stepped in to record some vocals for the tracks. The result of his involvement can be found on Crazed Development‘s nine tracks.

Now, I’m not sure if this is what the band had in mind when they originally stepped into the recording studio or if they were even in contact with Harvey as he wrote for the disc, but what I can tell you is that the two are a match made in evil heaven. The band’s grinding take on death metal is aggressive and destructive. Harvey’s deep guttural vocals match the music’s fury perfectly, creating a hell of a listening experience that any fan of death metal or grind would be thrilled to have in their library.

Throne of Civilization
The opening track starts off with thick riffs and controlled drumming as the vocals are barked. It quickly takes off into a flight through a series of grinding death metal riffing and quickly paced drumming. I really dig Harvey’s vocals on this one — his cadence matches the music perfectly.

At War With Shadows
“Wired” picks up where the opening track left off, but at a slightly slower speed. It has groove filled, chugging riffs with a pummeling bit of drum work. There’s a good bit of layered vocals on this one that give it that much needed depth and dynamic. The tempo shifts are smooth and well timed.

I love the opening riffs on this one before the band devolves into a battle royal between each other. Crusty bass lines mix with dirty riffs and maniacal drums to form the perfect marriage of grind and death metal. Harvey’s vocals give it that much needed push to get it going nicely. The 1:15 mark sees the band exploding into top speed — be prepared.

This next one takes elements of the “At War With Shadows” and builds on them with increasingly quicker blasts and tempo changes. Harvey’s vocals give this one a decidedly evil presence on the disc.

Slow, evil riffs shift to speedy riffs and start/stop drumming with ease as Harvey barks over it all. I’m digging the groove in the chorus mixed with the nicely timed start/stop tempo changes.

Crazed Development
The title track is an ugly grinding affair, complete with memorable riffing and a great vocal cadence from Harvey. I love the bit of a breakdown at the 1:15 mark.

Grind Monkey
The title to this one says it all. It’s a blinding, churning, huge riffing mass of grinding death metal. And at only 48 seconds in length it’s the perfect length for you grind monkeys out there.

Creative drumming and another memorable riff get this one moving along at a nice pace. At just over three minutes in length, it’s the longest track and has a decidedly more death metal feel to it. There’s good use of layered vocals on this one as well.

The final track is also the shortest, but certainly no less hard hitting. It’s got a more punk/grind flavor to it with simple group vocals and start/stop riffing and drum work. Great way to end a nice addition to the library.

~ ~ ~

While there certainly isn’t anything revolutionary on this disc, the story behind it and it’s entertaining contents gives you plenty of excuses to hunt it down. There really isn’t anything else that needs to be said.

Favorite Tracks:
Crazed Development
Grind Monkey

Additional Notes: