Angel Grinder -''We never compromise or sacrifice quality"'
The USA is the home of first Gen Death Metal. Raw, brutal and uncompromising. Angel Grinder from Boston evokes the legends of the 80’s whilst infusing it with their distinct, Modern Aesthetic. Muscular, agile and incredibly heavy, the fury of Eden Rayz vocals is matched by Daniel Gordevich’s guitar into a coalescent form as Daniel Explains.
‘’Before 2013, I was writing melodic death metal. When I started to get into bands like Morbid Angel, Decapitated, and Bloodbath, it evolved into more riff-centric groovy death metal. I started jamming on the material I was writing with Sam Wilgoose (from Lord Almighty, Panzerbastard) and Joe Goldwater. It didn’t get off the ground until 2018, when we started playing small gigs as a 3 piece with Joe, Eden, and myself. Now that Christopher Peter and Sam Kirsch joined, we are excited to finally play as a complete unit.’’
Confessions of the Damned is an excellent debut album trimmed of any excess. Is it the result of a lengthy process, or do you have lots of material available?
DG: ‘’Thanks! I have plenty of material written, and it usually takes a long time to be able to be executed well. I tend to spend an equal amount of time writing as I do practicing the riffs. I’ll often bounce thematic ideas off of Eden for compositional insight.’’
Is old school death metal the term that best describes you? Or are labels unnecessary?
DG: ‘’Our style is not totally rigid or set, so influences from other genres like thrash and even black metal permeate occasionally. Whatever the song calls for doesn’t always remain within a particular genre. We try not to think about what influences to specifically apply while writing because that creates unnecessary limitations. If it helps the listener understand what kind of music we play, we can call it old school death metal, but it’s 2020 and it’s not like we’re trying to reinvent the wheel here.’’
Does the Boston or New England attitude influence your uncompromising approach?
DG: ‘’It’s a combination of the New England attitude and my upbringing in an old-fashioned Slavic family. We never compromise or sacrifice quality for the sake of ease or comfort.’’
Lyrically Angel Grinder is very much aware of the world around them. What inspires the lyricism?
Eden Rayz:’’ Daniel collects historical magazines and news clippings. He’ll often bring ideas to the table and we’ll explore them together. A lot of what we’re inspired by is history’s repetitiveness, and how human nature, even cross-culturally, tends to be static and unchanging. Sometimes we write about the past, like in 731, and sometimes we write about an imagined reality, like in Got Your Goat.’’
The video for 731 has a striking black and white visual aesthetic. Did the band have full control of it?
ER: ‘’We did! Daniel, Christopher Peter (bass) and I produced it. Daniel found the majority of the footage on public domain websites, and I combed through and found the most disgusting portions, edited, and processed it. Nada Alturki was the band cinematographer. Not bad for a $0 budget!’’
‘’The composition of the video itself was inspired by The Disintegration Loops by William Basinski, an American avant-garde composer.
The idea is that the quality of the film is depreciated over time. If you look closely, it slowly becomes blurrier and more tinged with a sickly green.’’
How do we change the absence of hope?
ER: ‘’That’s the heaviest interview question I’ve ever heard! We probably aren’t the best resource, but I’m a big fan of turning inward and meditating in order to have more equanimity. And turning outward and trying to gain knowledge. Practicing empathy. Maybe hope stems from compassion. I don’t know, but I recommend the book Destructive Emotions by Daniel Goleman.’’
Is expressing these views a cathartic process that helps the listener understand the band’s viewpoint and the world?
ER: ‘’I really hope so. It’s certainly cathartic for us! Death metal in general helps us process fear, anger, pride, all the things that build up inside of us and rot. The catharsis that comes from actively listening is deeply important right now.’’
Eden: your vocals are extreme yet clear, is it intentional to make the legible to the listener amongst the musical carnage?
ER: ‘’Definitely and thank you! I practice a lot of diction and pronunciation.’’
Who are “Those willing to feast upon the flesh of the wicked will inherit endemic Earth”?
ER:’’ So. We wrote a very fun and elaborate story for Got Your Goat. In the context of the song, it’s a marketing slogan from the butcher that’s shouted about the expensive “Caprine Delight” (it’s actually human meat harvested from prisoners). Because the meat is marketed to the rich, it’s telling the rich that if they buy the meat, they’ll inherit the Earth, which is suffering from food shortages from a massive drought.’’
Does any particular vocalist or style influence your delivery?
ER: ‘’For sure. A couple favourites are Frank Mullen for timbre, and Lord Worm for vocal polyrhythm. Though they’re iconoclasts and definitely influence my approach, I favour developing one’s own voice and practicing what’s healthy and comfortable.’’
Dan: What goes into the perfect riff?
DG: ‘’Wow. I’m still trying to figure that out! I’ll let you know though.’’
731 is …?
DG: ‘’...one of the most atrocious and sickening war crimes in recent history, comparable to Dr. Mengele’s experiments in Auschwitz, but way less known. I’d recommend looking it up.’’
(For both) The top 6 recent albums the metal world must not live without?
Eden and Daniel combo answers:
Oranssi Pazuzu: Mestarin kynsi
Ulcerate: Stare Into Death and Be Still
Defeated Sanity: The Sanguinary Impetus
Spectral Voice / Anhedonist: Abject Darkness / Ineffable Winds
Cattle Decapitation: Death Atlas
Blood Incantation: Hidden History of the Human Race
Plans for the future….
DG: ‘’We’re waiting for a vaccine, honestly. And supporting local artists and bands wherever we can. Until then, more writing, and demoing out some dank ideas for the next album. Thanks for having us on the Coroner’s Report!’’