Globe and Beast- Grandfather’s Axe

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Friday, March 15, 2013

Sludgy hardcore is a musical style that I feel like I will never get tired of, and there are always new bands coming along that prove this. San Diego’s Globe and Beast is one of the latest and have put out their debut album Grandfather’s Axe which offers a nice mix of short, punchy assaults mixed with brooding sludge and bottom heavy riffs. It will ultimately feel familiar as a lot of the band’s influences are apparent when listening to their debut but I still found myself going back to this material frequently and believe these guys are off to a great start.

Globe and Beast’s Bandcamp page mentions Converge and Engineer as influences while the press blurb that came with the album also throws in references to Cursed and Buried Alive. My ears pick up a little bit of elements from all of these bands as the instrumentalists move between faster bottom heavy metalcore assaults, edgy sludge riffs that slow the tempo down considerably, and even some faster riffs that move back towards a traditional hardcore tonality. There’s a decent amount of variation between tracks, as the group saves their slower moments for specific times rather than throwing them in on every track. What I found interesting was that the material seemed to stand out more as it progressed, as the riffs that had the most staying power were on some of the later tracks. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the earlier ones aren’t enjoyable as the intensity and constant tempo switch ups work well but it felt like the band really started to settle into their style and hit their strongest points at about the halfway point. While there is still plenty of room for growth as these guys find more elements that make them truly distinguishable, they’ve got the sound of this genre down on this release.

The vocals on Grandfather’s Axe consist of higher pitched screams and growls that aren’t quite as low as some of the bands Globe and Beast has taken influence from, but they work quite well with the instrumentals. There are two distinctive pitches on most of these songs, and the two often switch off and work in conjunction with one another in order to provide as much intensity as possible. The tradeoffs in sound also keep the vocals from becoming repetitive, as bands in this genre sometimes get stuck with a singular pitch that they wear listeners down with. It’s also worth noting that the screams/growls here aren’t nearly as distorted compared to other groups, and that makes it a bit easier to make out the lyrical content.

Grandfather’s Axe won me over with its balance of dissonant sludge and hardcore/metalcore assaults but I did find that the later tracks had stronger hooks than some of the earlier ones. Globe and Beast is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of this style, but they haven’t quite broken free of some their influences and I think it will take another album or so before they truly break out. In the meantime though their material will still get plenty of spins from me and hopefully it will lead to some good touring opportunities, as this will give them the chance to get out there and keep growing as a band.

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