You know, I've been listening to this little album since the day it came out, and I have to say that it's a better album overall than their debut. Their debut had more instant "wow factor," because it was so unlike anything I'd heard before (I think someone on here called it "blistercore"; very accurate), but it seems like their sophomore album is more carefully written and subtle.
A lot of these crazy spazz-grind people seem to write songs that distract the listener rather than engage them, but GridLink really takes the idea of "microsymphonies" and runs with it. All of the songs (including the seven-second early Napalm Death-style outburst in the middle of the album) appear to be arranged really carefully, with multiple movements and transitions that were clearly tweaked and polished to perfection during the three year gap between albums.
The '80s crossover thrash influence isn't there as much as it was on their debut, but they've filled in that gap with what sounds a lot like '90s black metal, particularly on "Embers, Blood, and Treasure," my favorite song on the album. A bit of the old weirdness/dissonance that characterized Discordance Axis' guitar playing has wormed its way back into the melodies, and to go along with that, Chang's started mixing up growls with his screams again.
In short, if you liked Amber Gray
, pick this one up, because it's a definite upgrade. This song
gives you a pretty good indication of what you're in for.