Review 1872 : GridLink – Coronet Juniper – English

GridLink has reformed.

Created in 2004, the band had to cease activity in 2014 following the announcement of the illness of its founder, Takafumi Matsubara (guitar, Formless Master, ex-Congenital Hell…).

But in 2022, and against all odds, it is accompanied by co-founder Jon Chang (vocals, No One Knows What the Dead Think, ex-Discordance Axis), long-time drummer Bryan Fajardo (Cognizant, Noisear, Trucido, ex-Phobia), as well as Mauro Cordoba (bass, Maruta) and Rory Kobzina (guitar, Bea$ters, Lorelai), the two new recruits, that the band returns, and the following year announces its signing to Willowtip Records as well as its new album, Coronet Junipet.

Described as a Technical Grindcore band, GridLink‘s new album features eleven new tracks, all barely twenty minutes long. Silk Ash Cascade, the first track, features a frantic, worked-up element on which the vocalist goes wild, leaving guitars to deliver a torrent of leads, closely followed by Anhalter Bahnhof and its ultra-fast heaviness. But the track is rather short, and gives way to Pitch Black Resolve, which manages to couple airy dissonant tones with a near-continuous blast, as well as the usual strident screams, before returning to jerky riffs on Nickel Grass Mosaic. Musicians offer us a brief moment of respite with the opening melodies of Ocean Vertigo, before violence resurfaces at full speed in this tortured instrumental, which ends to let Octave Serpent strike back with a relatively similar approach. Coronet Juniper, the eponymous track, does the same, while including a few happier harmonics in its jerky rhythm, before the atmosphere darkens on Zygomatic, which quickly becomes stifling. The opening notes of Refrain suggest a more ethereal approach, but it won’t follow, and the band continue to riff at breakneck speed before The Forgers Secade kicks in, giving the band another opportunity to roll over us, while creating a contrast towards the middle of the track with ominous bass sounds. The final feedback comes to an end before Revenant Orchard puts a long, violent end to the track with a steady rhythm, nuanced by a slightly gentler break.

There’s no time to lose for GridLink, which always play their hearts out, and easily follow up the frantic riffs on Coronet Juniper! We can only applaud the complexity of the tracks and the musician’s talent!


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