January's nearly over, and given my vocation as a (somewhat) professional metal nerd, it's safe to say that I've already heard a lot of new music—like, a lot. My inbox has already seen a fresh glut of good, bad, and really good records, and I already had a rough idea of who to look out for in 2018 well before 2017 fucked off to Hell where it belongs. Even so, it's extraordinarily foolhardy to come charging out of the very first month of 2018 and boldly proclaim that you've unearthed one of the finest metal albums of the year—but just try and fuckin' stop me, bud.
Mammoth Grinder's new joint, Cosmic Crypt, is so good that I'm kind of mad about it. It's the kind of record that's going to fuck up your whole day, because any time you come across something new on Bandcamp, or get a hankering for some Iron Maiden (given our newly somehow even worse apocalyptic predicament) you're going to have to resign yourself to listening to something that isn't Cosmic Crypt, and no matter how good that something is... part of you is still going to be annoyed about it. The record kick-flips off the once-bulletproof line between death metal and hardcore and dives right the fuck on in, conjuring a messy, infinitely headbangable mashup of Bolt Thrower and Entombed with grotty crust, jumpy d-beat, and trace amounts of Ulsh's equally riff-obsessed other band, Power Trip. The end result is so much fun to listen to that it cured my winter doldrums and made me want to chug exactly seventeen beers, flip a table, then punch a cop.
Mammoth Grinder have been teasing us with a sporadic trickle of splits and covers for the past few years, but Cosmic Crypt marks the trio's first foray back into the full-length zone since 2013's Underworlds. Mixed by chairman of the board Arthur Rizk, mastered by Toxic Holocaust's Joel Grind, and crowned with cover art by the legendary Joe Petagno (who's created covers for the likes of Motorhead, Autopsy, and Pink Floyd), Cosmic Crypt features founding vocalist and bassist Chris Ulsh alongside new recruits Mark Bronzino (Iron Reagan) and Ryan Parrish (Iron Reagan, ex-Darkest Hour). Dream team pedigree aside, I want to reiterate once again just how much this album fucking rips.
Stream Cosmic Crypt in its wild ass entirety below, and get you a piece of one of 2018's best albums from Relapse come January 26 (preorders are live now if you're antsy).
Catch Mammoth Grinder on tour:
Feb 02 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel ^
Feb 03 Richmond, VA Strange Matter ^
Feb 04 Raleigh, NC The Maywood
Feb 05 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn
Feb 06 Memphis, TN Rock Room
Feb 07 Little Rock, AR Vino’s
Feb 08 Dallas, TX Club Dada
Feb 09 Houston, TX White Swan
Feb 10 Austin, TX Sidewinder
Feb 11 San Antonio, TX Paper Tiger
Feb 12 El Paso, TX Neon Rose
Feb 13 Tucson, AZ Club Congress *
Feb 14 Phoenix, AZ The Rebel Lounge *
Feb 15 San Diego, CA Space Bar
Feb 16 Los Angeles, CA The Resident
Feb 17 Oakland, CA Eli’s Mile High
Feb 18 Santa Cruz, CA Bocci’s
Feb 20 Salt Lake City, UT Beehive Social Club
Feb 21 Denver, CO Streets of London
Feb 22 Des Moines IA Vaudeville Mews
Feb 23 Minneapolis, MN Hexagon Bar
Feb 24 Chicago, IL Cobra Lounge
Feb 25 Detroit, MI Cellarman’s
Feb 26 Cleveland, OH Now That’s Class
Feb 27 Pittsburgh, PA Rock Room
Feb 28 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Necktie
Mar 01 Boston, MA Middle East Upstairs
Mar 02 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus
Mar 03 Montclair, NJ The Meatlocker
^ w/ Genocide Pact
* w/ Gatecreeper
Kim Kelly is grinding the axes on Twitter.