Review: Stampin’ Ground

Stampin’ Ground
“A New Darkness Upon Us”
(Century Media)

Damn.  This goes to show you what can happen when metal is produced right.  Andy Sneep, of Killswitch Engage and Testament fame, has put together an album as savage and relentless as it is infectious.  Full of vicious hooks and noteworthy (by metal standards, at least) lyrics, Sampin’ Ground is on the verge of reaching Hatebreed or Lamb of God status.  It’s one thing just to be brutally fast, with drums going mach twelve and your singer’s hair on fire.

It’s an entirely different story to craft an entire album that oozes and seeps dread and despair at every corner, while still maintaining its breakneck pace.  The ominous silences and foreboding atmosphere that define “A New Darkness” make this one you won’t put down until the last tortured scream has escaped Antony Mobray’s throat.  Standout tracks include the Tyler Durden-esque, “Pain is Weakness (Leaving the Body)”, “Dead From the Neck Up”, and “Behind the Light”, all of which encompass the controlled chaos that is Stampin’ Ground.