The Leviathan’s Mandible – Desolate

It’s big, it’s hard, it grinds viciously into you, and it’s over in under five minutes. It’s not just the bad experience you had with your summer camp counselor when you were seven years old: it’s ‘Desolate’, the latest demo by The Leviathan’s Mandible!

My first introduction to this band was at a local grindcore festival of sorts. This three piece ripped through a bassless set of furious modern grindcore with a spectacular level of intensity from every member: massive, semi-melodic tremolo riffs meshed with guttural roars and soaring screeches over a bed of (one foot, in fact) blast beats. While they seemed a bit out of place on a roster of primarily goregrind bands, I was highly impressed by their performance despite this. The music on record loses almost none of the intensity of their live performance, luckily. There’s a minimalist savagery to the music here that I like: there aren’t really any fills; the band just shifts mercilessly from riff to riff without any sort of pause in between. Call it ‘In The Nightside Eclipse’ played by Extreme Noise Terror.

Pig Destroyer is the greatest influence here, I think, though there are a number of sludgy, almost power violence sections as well. The riffs here are surprisingly memorable, especially for grindcore, with each being very clearly articulated, with production that never reduces the guitar to a pile of distortion. The music as a whole is actually very coherent and never feels particularly loose, even in the massive tempo and rhythm changes. Even the most extreme of these instances, like on ‘Slither’, are entirely natural. I’d say the band is a bit more suited to live performances than on record, but that’s not really a flaw on their part: the music just conveys a greater sense of intensity when they’re thrashing out two feet away from you at 120 decibels. Of course, they have their charms recorded as well: the individual riffs and intricacies of the songs can be better appreciated.

In short, this is quite nice. This demo has, of course, a very brief running time, but it’s free for download from the band’s Myspace page, so you have no reason not to check it out. If you like modern style grindcore with excellent instrumental performances and damned solid songwriting, you should certainly give it a go.

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~ by noktorn on September 14, 2007.

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