Come to Grief unleash scathing doom assault, replant roots on blistering ‘When the World Dies’

Life is a hellscape, and unless you’re an ultra-rich white conservative, you’re feeling the same way. Let me clarify that: If you fall into that category, you’re actually in a worse state of self-loathing and hatred that probably makes you violently vomit at your image in the mirror every day. But OK, look, we’re in a strange and terrible time, and we have been for quite some time.

Good news/bad news is Come to Grief finally have delivered their debut full-length “When the World Dies,” building off the stellar reputation Guilt built decades ago in as scathing manner possible. The bad news? The world sucks, and you are immersed into the gut of that reality on this smoking, slaughtering record. But look, the music is what matters here, and of course they deliver the goods, and it’s nasty and scathing, and you won’t feel any better about the planet or its people when it’s over. Building off the smoldering ashes Grief left behind, this band—vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Hebert, lead guitarist/backing vocalist Terrenza Savastano (from the original Grief), bassist Jon Morse, drummer Chuck Conlon (also from Grief)—not only follows up what their original band and debut record of the same name offered the world, they push it further into psychological horrors you must face or otherwise suffer in silence.

“Our End Begins” is a slowly drubbing instrumental opener that opens the door to the punishment ahead, and that bleeds into “Life’s Curse” that delivers crushing riffs and shrieks that dig under your fingernails. Burly hammering speeds up as the heat melts flesh, the playing takes on a bigger burden toward bruising you, and the band blasts into your chest, dragging you across the cinders. “Scum Like You” untangles riffs in a calculated manner, and the vocals curdle, making your intestines crawl. The riffs feel drunken but also sharp, like it has clarification in the fog, and the vocals absolutely mangle, rushing into a quick false finish before reopening. From there, they pour lava into wounds, and the vocals gut before finally relenting. “Devastation of Souls” smothers and trashes you, bringing ominous riffs that chew away at your mind, the playing encircling dangerously. Screams dice your sanity, killer riffs stomp all over the earth, and the viciousness finally ends when one last riff enters and splatters.

The title track is scary when it dawns, the guitars fry maddeningly, and the bass plods, your skull bouncing off each step along the way. Crushing heaviness meets up with a thickening haze, and things are allowed to cool until the temperature threatens, and spacious misery sinks into the ground. “Bludgeon the Soul/Returning to the Void” has noise hanging in the air before the vocals start to boil, and the pace drubs hard, slithering through broken, bloody glass. The shrieks rip as the band thrashes wrenchingly, and the guitars then glow with a sort of apocalyptic sheen with everything laid to rest. Closer “Death Can’t Come Soon Enough” hints at its despair from the title, and then you dig into this track, which hammers away with pure misery. The vocals eat through bone, the intensity continually increases, and slow-driving madness collects, meeting with a churning pace and devastating cries that melt out with the volcanic pressure.

“When the World Dies” is a record with which to be reckoned, a seven-track pounder that is so massive and devastating that you feel markedly worse when the thing finally ends. That’s not a negative. Come to Grief have paid proper homage to their roots and created a blazing fire into the future that only can be quenched by blood and pain. This record takes you to the woodshed over and over, and you’ll have wounds you can’t explain for weeks after your initial bout ends.

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