Landmine Marathon - Rusted Eyes Awake
27 October 2008

01. Bile Towers
02. Certain Death
03. Bled To Oblivion
04. Xenocide
05. Heroin Swine
06. Skin From Skull
07. Red Days
08. Rusted Eyes Awake

I caught Landmine Marathon opening for Enslaved a little over a year ago… they blew two more heralded bands, Arsis and The Faceless off the stage that night. I recently saw their newest release, "Rusted Eyes Awake" - complete with cover artwork reminiscent of Repulsion's classic "Horrified" - and opted to pick it up to see if it was their music or a few too many Alaskan Ambers that left me with a favorable opinion of the band that November evening.

As enjoyable as I find a good Alaskan Amber, one spin through my cd player was enough to convince me it was undoubtedly their music.

Landmine Marathon love their old school Earache, and make no bones about it with "Rusted Eyes Awake." You cannot help but hear the influences of Earache heavies Bolt Thrower and "Descanting"-era Carcass. LM have apparently taken the saying goes, "All killer, no filler" to heart, as "R.E.A." features eight tracks and clocks in at a little over 30 minutes… primarily at a full-tilt blitz with only the occasional slow grind to give the listener time to catch their breath.

Guitarists Jeff Owen and Ryan Butler furiously riff away with reckless abandon. Many of the riffs seem to have the vibe of those great melodic mid-paced Bolt Thrower moments, only sped up to match the ferocious tempo of the song. It works. Solos sprinkle their way through the album functioning with the music and without much whammy bar histrionics and "look at me" wankery. They advance the song nicely. Bassist Matt Martinez rumbles along in conjunction with the guitar work and contributes some occasional but powerful backing vocals to augment Grace's vocal attack.

I almost feel sorry for Mike Pohlmeier behind the kit. While he might have had the luxury of a break in between tracks while recording the new album, playing it live is going to be a grueling test. On tracks like "Skin From Skull" he pounds away at the breakneck pace of the band, but just fills like a madman. He's like a hyperactive kid after a couple Red Bulls and a half a dozen lines of pixie sticks. I imagine each live gig will find the set end, him collapse in a heap on his kit, one of the roadies strap on an oxygen mask and carry him to a waiting bed on the tour boss where they'll let him recover - only to wake him in time for the next night's show.

Vocalist Grace Perry has the looks of the girl next door, and she also has the pipes of the girl next door - if you happen to live some suburb of Hell, that is. Her powerful scorn-filled screeches and growls are a little higher pitched than the standard subsonic cookie monster vocals that dominate the genre. They're still low, mind you, we aren't talking King Diamond wine glass shattering falsetto here, they just serve to give Landmine Marathon a unique sonic identity that helps set them apart from their DM colleagues.

As a unit they mesh together well and sound really good. The tracks all have a similar feel to each other, but "Rusted Eyes Awake" is short enough that the similarity becomes neither tedious nor boring. The album isn't particularly innovative - again they make no bones about their old school influences - but it is certainly very enjoyable and definitely worth checking out.

Stand out tracks: Bile Towers, Bled To Oblivion, Skin From Skull

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Band profile: Landmine Marathon
Album: Rusted Eyes Awake


Written on 20.02.2009 by
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More reviews by BitterCOld ››


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Comments: 7  
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Herzebeth - 20.02.2009 at 23:45  
Sick artwork, looks like the old Repulsion album "Horrified". And there's a hot girl in there? I'm so checking this album out dude..nice review man thanks!
silenius - 21.02.2009 at 02:07  
Sounds like something for me!, will defenilty check it out.
Jason W. - 21.02.2009 at 03:33  
I really enjoyed the last Bolt Thrower disc, and of course the early 90s era of Carcass, so I'll have to check this one out too. Enjoyable review, too, BTW, all I need is one of those Alaskan Ambers to recreate the listening experience...!
BitterCOld - 27.02.2009 at 20:18  
If anyone checks it out, let me know what you think.
Doc Godin - 28.02.2009 at 03:57  
Written by BitterCOld on 27.02.2009 at 20:18

If anyone checks it out, let me know what you think.

Yeah I actually bought this album a few weeks back (I remember you talking about it in some other thread before this was written. I liked it, but I haven't listened to it enough to decide if I agree with your review. Though I remember being really impressed with 'Skin From Skull'.
Boxcar Willy - 30.08.2011 at 05:38  
Siiiiiiiiiickk!!!! definate buy!
PocketMetal - 16.11.2012 at 22:39  
Written by BitterCOld on 27.02.2009 at 20:18

If anyone checks it out, let me know what you think.

3-4 years later , I really enjoyed it ... love her vocals and the band's energy . actually I liked it so much I recommended it to other people right away .

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