review published: 8/3/2017


On Reaper, Ontario, Canada's Grizzly take us back to the heyday of "tech." The band's twelve-track debut record clocks in at just over seventeen minutes (bonus Pantera cover included) of technical and brutal mayhem.

Grizzly's frantic attack of sweeping guitars and grinding rhythms brings to mind groups like Psyopus and Behold…The Arctopus, but with a grindcore urgency. The band blasts through the record's first three songs ("Bitch Cruncher," "Paper Thin Skin," "Hung & Gutted") at lightning speeds, combining frenetic, technical riffing with odd-metered rhythms that stop and change on a dime, before settling into the mid-paced, mosh-ready "Skull Dust."

From that point on, Grizzly never relent. While Reaper's longest tracks, "Vaginal Disembowlment" and "Dry Brain" incorporate some crunchier, palm-muted sections into the assault. Songs like the seven-second "Fangs" and the title track pack as much into a small space as possible. It's utter chaos.

Two tracks that stand out from the pack are "Clawed Through," which serves essentially as a drum interlude, and closer, "Shadow Drag," which might well be the grindcore version of Van Halen's "Eruption". In these instrumentals, Grizzly are able to create a separate dynamic while never letting their foot off the gas.

Reaper also includes a cover of the Pantera classic "Mouth For War," which is done pretty true to style, showing a skillset not previously displayed by the band. The vocalist's hardcore style screamed vocals fit the track and the band handles the more straight-forward mid-paced riffs well. The odd thing about this cover is that there appears to be a fake arena audience noise track buried underneath, which is as distracting as it is strange.

Bottom Line: Fans of grind or "tech" should love everything about Grizzly's aural assault. Reaper is an impressive debut by a talented band.

Track Listing: 01. Grave 02. Bitch Cruncher 03. Paper Thin Skin 04. Hung & Gutted 05. Skull Dust 06. Vaginal Disembowelment 07. Dry Brain 08. Clawed Through 09. Fangs 10. Reaper 11. Shadow Drag 12. (Bonus) Mouth For War