Rictus Grin Press: Check out some of the cool things people are saying about Rictus!
One of the best acts to remain constant throughout the year in metal has been Milwaukee's Rictus Grin. Kick ass live performances complete with props and the occasional audience member almost being dismembered (willingly) has been the key to this band growing a large fan base of frothing headbangers. Their music, while precise and technical, also leaves room for a humorous dark side when it comes to lyrical content. The boys are due back in the studio this spring, and metal-phobes throughout the area are expecting another testical busting release. Maximum Ink--"Brew City Sludge"--Author: Lane Klozier
Review of "Living the Dream" EP The band was formed in the Milwaukee area back in 1998 by guitarist/vocalist Larry Weeks who could quite possibly be Devin Townsend's heavyweights like Morbid Angel, Iced Earth, Exodus, King Diamond, Anthrax, Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad, Mudvayne, Children of Bodom, Ministry, and Damageplan at Summerfest 2004 just to name a few. They are even performing in Iceland in the summer of 2005! The EP, "living the Dream," is a four song thrash bar coated with a light layer of doom. Although it has blast beats and some fast guitar interludes, they manage to pace themselves to allow listeners to catch their breath. Weeks' deep throated growl can actually be understood and reminds me of Max Cavalera era Sepultura. Be sure to check out Rictus Grin at the Doomsday 2005 show at the Rave on Saturday 29th. www.rictusgrin.com Maximum Ink--"Rock Spew"--Author: Jason Mansavage
Rictus Grin knows their metal and they know it well. This band is so good it's hard to know where to begin. They have an unbelievable songwriting ability. Just on elisten and their knowledge and faculty will become utterly apparent. These guys are not fucking around! Taste the Steel is everything you could crave from true heavy metal. But it doesn't stop there. It has a surprisingly heavy intensity, impassioned, and thoroughly melodious thrash; awesome thrash with just the right amounts of uplifting power yet still holding dominion over the malice of death metal. But it doesn't stop there. Besides the thirlled riffing, Rictus Grin also manipulates slower, avalanche-inducing rhythmic punches. Each song is a cavalry of energized musicianship; each melody washing over you and after it passes it drags you along behind it. This all equates to devastating riff after devastating riff. But it doesn't stop there. The vccals are a real gem in this music. The clean vocals are gripping and prevailing, but he also has a certain revenous might; similar to the way Tom Aray sounds live. The drumming is perfect for their style of metal. it is blunt and undeviating and he doesn't get too flashy. The quality of this album is fantastic with each instrument having its own voice and each voice is heeded and understood. But it doesn't stop there...
Rictus Grin has released a demo for Living the Dream that showcases the material for the new album. This music will beat you through the earth and thrust you into the deepest, most agonizing pits of hell. The new songs are heavier than ever and are supported by lyrics and storylines that draw you in and never release you. The guitars and bass are faster, more aggressive and unconditionally unrelenting. The vocals have some new talents too. He gest lower with his roars and better matches the themes and somewhat twisted musicality. These new rhythms will cause your muscles to seize, spasm, and tear. This time around the evil that was hinted in the last album has nearly taken control. Living the dream definitely has the Rictus Grin signature on it and I wait in great anticipation for the final version of the CD. Waste no more time and head to www.geocities.com/rictusgrinforever to check out this massively heavy and capable band. Heavycore and 3 Headed Moses--Author: Luke D. Offield
Review of "Taste the Steel" of United States? I had to recieve the package from Rictus Grin, which totally blow my head away with their very good thrash metal that deliver to their latest album, to give a positive answer to this question.
You know it is funny with the whole situation in the underground? You get receive demos and albums from unknown bands only to realize that they ROCK! And they rock more than other bands that have record deals with labels. Rictus Grin, is one of these situations, I never believed to hear such good thrash metal these days. I believe that the cover is a little bit out of the whole concept but I don't care so much.
Also I hope the production will be better next time and everything will be fine. Definitely Rictus Grin have a future in the music industry and please take a minute and do a favor to yourself and hear this great band. The Temple of Metal--Author: Antonis Maglaras
If your taste is geared more towards the metal edge, maybe all the smile you need can be found in Rictus Grin. This Milwaukee quartet has been pounding it out since 1998 having done shows with the likes of Judas Priest and Anthrax. Four strong releases and a growing fan base show this band is becoming one of the elite on Milwaukee's metal scene. Get ready for the pain... The Shepherd Express--Author: Brian Barney
Shev's Review: Back with yet another assault of the senses, Milwaukee's Rictus Grin have unleashed "Living the Dream" the follow-up to their 2003 full-length, "Taste the Steel" (not counting the "Living the Dream EP" released in 2004). While this album weighs in a bit scrawny at just above 28 minutes long, and the album art is nothing more than an amateurish Dungeons and Dragons-like skeleton forever trapped in a motionless pin-up, Rictus Grin know their metal and aren't afraid to flaunt it like a cheap New Orleans whore.
Rictus Grin are actually one of those rare thrash acts that incorporate large amounts of death metal among many other influences to create a unique sound which can be recognized even upon hearing a song of theirs for the first time. Larry Weeks' death metal vocals are distinctively smooth with a crisp edge much like taking a bite from an apple, which is also teamed with his utterly crushing, tight guitar playing skills. The bass is used with intricate perfection and worked well into the mix. Don't be expecting some lazy bass player to just fart around in the background. This material creatively rivals that of the legendary Overkill and in some instances, laps it completely. This is all sewn shut with the drumming of Jeff Lamers, which is just a bit undercooked in sound, but overall strong and most importantly, lacking in blast beats...or as those clever Latinese used to say...blasticus homosexuous beateronimus.
So what we have here is some very catchy, memorable, and well-written death metal-influenced thrash with a slight intimation of power metal and doom in places. They don't exactly light the world on fire with some unconventionally improved metal sound, but instead base their sound on what appears to be no less than a ka-zillion different styles ranging from Iron Maiden to Razor to Suffocation. A fantastic mix of tempo-changing atrocities, tank-riding melodies, and destructive riff hijacking planes and flying them into buildings. Take "Alucard" for example, their most epic tune on the disc. They put to shame what bands like In Flames try to accomplish, and put forth a great contrast of frenzy and emotionally detached lethargy. Absolutely brilliant, and they make it sound so easy.
Unfortunately, there's not really much to pick apart. There are the slower, more peaceful breaks as seen in the likes of "Death Dance" which seems a little out of place. The sickening belch by drummer Jeff Lamers at the end of "Keystone Buick" is the wettest, most vile, disturbing thing found in a song since Cattle Decapitation's sample of the Russian soldier getting his throat slit. Other than that...one can only nitpick at the stupid stuff like the quick fade-out at the end of "Morgue". In closing, "Living the Dream" really is all that and a bag of chips. Highly recommended to all fans of thrash and death, especially the older bucks like myself who grew up with metal from the 80's. Guess what? These guys not only understand it, but have no intentions of replicating what used to be. They just do what they do. Now if they would only stop promoting such crappy beer...Shev's Grade: A Kicked In The Face--Author: Shev