Gross Misconduct – Equinox (Review)

Gross Misconduct - EquinoxGross Misconduct are a Canadian death metal band and this is their third album.

This is progressive death metal with a thrash influence. The band describe this album in the following way – “Imagine Cynic with a dollop of Death, a smattering of The Crown/Mastodon/Gojira and healthy doses of 1980s Metallica and Slayer.” I’ve simply regurgitated this here as it’s a better descriptor of how Equinox sounds than anything I could come up with.

The songs are well-written and energetic, and demonstrate a band with a healthy enthusiasm and passion for what they do. This is aggressive extreme metal that bleeds emotion and feeling, while belching out a storm of razor-sharp riffs and serrated melodies. With a good feel for pacing and structure, as well as dynamics and how these all work positively with each other, the music on Equinox is catchy, memorable, and has more than enough depth to satisfy the requirement for repeat visits.

Vocally we mainly get harsh rasps that are not without their emotive qualities. The singer works well with the music and the interplay between his voice and the guitars seems especially well-considered.

The musicianship is of a very high quality throughout. The guitars tend to take centre stage, as you’d expect, but that doesn’t mean the other instruments simply go through the motions. The drums are notable for their varied delivery, and even the oft-neglected bass makes a worthwhile contribution.

The recording is professional, but without being overly so. It’s rough and raw enough to lend the music bite, but clean and polished enough so that everything is balanced and audible. Equinox sounds pretty damn good in more ways than one.

Equinox is an impressive, varied piece of work. Each track has its own personality and presence, and holistically the album works very well. Extremely enjoyable and gratifying, Gross MIsconduct have produced a corker here.

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