LENG TCH’E have been around for quite some time within the grind community. While they had material before it, their 2005 record The Process of Elimination is what blasted them into the higher tier of grind, with their little twists along the way that kept their fanbase strong. Now, seven years since their previous full-length, Hypomaniac, the grind maniacs have returned to the studio and created Razorgrind, aptly named after the genre in which they reside. We gave Razorgrind a spin to see just what lies ahead for LENG TCH’E.
The record blasts open and grabs your attention immediately with Gundog Allegiance, which is immediately reminiscent of NAPALM DEATH. Vocalist Sergei demonstrates his excellent range of guttural lows and high screams, while guitarist Jan Hallaert provides crushing riffs that give the sign of a strong record from the offset. Progressing into Indomitable, you hear more of the original LENG TCH’E sound. Not only is Cibus as heavy as you’d expect from Cibus, it’s also immensely catchy as Sergei fluctuates from lows to highs in succession to create an
What must be commended on this record is the occasional flashes of experimentation present. For example, in the track Guinea Swine is an entirely different track to what you’d expect on a grind record, and almost feels out of place before lashing back at you for thinking such a thing. Teddy Möller’s contribution on the organ at the beginning of this track makes it highly memorable, giving it an almost symphonic feel until it delves into the typical grind mayhem. The organ solo which closes the song is, again, unexpected, and works brilliantly. Their addition of slight prog and melodic elements to the tracks on Razorgrind demonstrate that LENG TCH’E are pushing their boundaries somewhat and moving outside of the box during the creative process. Additionally, the complexity and layering of the tracks in Razorgrind are a step above from what was previously offered by the band, which shows that their 7-year gap since The Process of Elimination has been well spent on development.
Some tracks on the record fall short of being overly memorable and slip the mind, such as The Red Pill. They’re not bad tracks by any standard, however are nothing particularly new or gripping to crash through the very thick barriers of other grind bands. However, the strong points of this album such as Spore and Magellanic Shrine bring it back up to glory. The latter is by far the most impressive track on the record, as it really demonstrates that LENG TCH’E aren’t your average grind band, and actually push themselves and experiment with other subgenres to create a unique sound. Olivier Coppens’ drum patterns are particularly outstanding on this Magellanic Shrine, and aid to make the track shine.
Overall, Razorgrind is a record of sheer brutality and brilliance. While it sticks to its traditional blend of grind and death, with catchy hooks and ferocious gutturals, the new surprises that pop up along the way are what make this record special. For case in point, check out Guinea Swine, Magellanic Shrine, and Spore. It may not necessarily be as strong a record as The Process of Elimination, but it’s a solid album that shows LENG TCH’E still have plenty of grind in their blood, and hits towards a strong future for the band should they continue.
Razorgrind is set for release on August 25th via Season of Mist.
Like LENG TCH’E on Facebook.