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Gadget – ‘The Great Destroyer’ (Album Premiere)

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I’ve said it before and I will say it again: It’s a good time for grind. While black and death metal dissolve into factions based on region, ideology and degrees of adherence to original sound, grind stays resolute. It influences its cohortsbut remains pure itself. When it does experiment it’s still instantly, inexplicably grind. All of which is a roundabout way of saying that long-running Swedish grind act Gadget don’t reinvent the wheel on their new album, The Great Destroyer, but I call that a plus.

As befits its name, The Great Destroyer comes across timeless, walking a fine line between classical and futuristic. Guest vocals from Barney Greenway and a cover reminiscent of Altars of Madness point to the group’s roots and influences, but their love of big, slow grooves anchored by 4/4 ride cymbal hits couldn’t be more millennial. Purely analog technology can’t make the fat, roaring sound of their distortion, but the performances show no obvious signs of editing, either. The best riffs get enough time to breathe: “From Graduation to Devastation” could be mistaken, at first brush for the work of a better-than-usual sludge act until blasts carry it to a speedy conclusion before the one minute mark.

Relapse Records built its career on bands like Gadget, that just played the right riffs for the right amount of time and never overstayed their welcome. They still know how to pick em.

The Great Destroyer drops March 11 via Relapse Records. Follow Gadget on Facebook.

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