6/25/2005 - Review by: Eric Compton
Groundcrew - Civilizations - 2005 - Self Released
Hailing from Canada, where speed picking is represented by none finer than Annihilator madman Jeff Waters, Groundcrew heat and serve up one mammoth full course meal with their debut record, a scorching shocker that seems to add in just about all of power metal's many universes. From the likes of Finland's spacey regions to Germany's traditional soundscape, from the Swedish grounds to the US classic stylings, this one really runs the full scope of all things slicked up and ready to go. This one is just full on speed and diversity, mixed together to create a fine helping of original power metal. Yes, original power metal, as odd as it may seem is very abundant here. This band is hard to pinpoint really, sort of like Afterworld or Easy Rider mixed with American tendencies like Agent Steel and Savage Grace, with a good sense of experimentation and how far to take it.
You could look at a track like "Gorf" and get a good understanding of the mindset of Groundcrew, their vision to take it one notch further. "Gorf" seems to combine punk, power, hardcore, and death all together into one well stirred blend. With vocalist D.D. Murley in to take vocal duty, the charge is complete and ready for drop off. Really Murley seems to hold it all together, using a voice much like Detroit shock rocker Brian Thomas of Halloween fame. Ryan Tunn is just as sharp as can be on the strings, recalling the finest moments of speedy power metal and using a nice German blade to put away any doubt that this man means business. From faster and faster playing to soaring leads and melody, the axe work is just simply amazing, really awe inspiring if you let it play long enough.
In reality there is nothing more to discuss, I'll just leave you with a vision of speedy power done just right, with enough diversity to keep the home experimenters interested, but never straying from the ultimate prize, to deliver the quality goods. Just like other underground acts that have surprised me through the years (Miles Beyond, Gods Of Fire, Thunderblast, Griffin), Groundcrew seem to play the exact same game. Guess who is watching you, watching and waiting for just the right moment to spring to life and take the metal world by storm?
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