Exposé Online banner

Kyrbgrinder — Chronicles of a Dark Machine
(Cherry Red KYRB 003, 2015, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2015-09-14

Chronicles of a Dark Machine Cover art

Kyrbgrinder is the solo project of Threshold drummer Johanne James. This is the third release in eight years, and with each outing James refines and evolves his vision for melodic, modern metal. Kyrbgrinder is essentially a power trio, so none of those twiddly, stuffy keyboards here, mate. Guitarist Aaron Waddingham is a big part of the band’s sound, spitting out a relentless stream of riffs, leads, runs, and all around metal growl. The new guy this time around is bassist Dave Lugay who for the most part sits in his corner and does what he’s told. That leaves the drummer. James has been racking up awards for his playing, though I wouldn’t consider him quite in the same pantheon as the Harrisons, Minnemanns or even Portnoys of the world. Where he really delivers, however, is as a songwriter and singer. It’s rare enough to find a black musician in the metal scene but what a breath of fresh air this guy is. On songs like “Captain America” and “Egocentric Suicide” he reveals a knack for catchy vocal melodies and harmonies that have more in common with Seal than your average metal shouter. The arrangement on “Oxygen” plays with acoustic textures and hints that James has a lot to offer outside the heavy metal sandbox. Nearly every song features a clever hook or twist that elevates it above the usual metal wash of noise, and gives even non-metal heads a reason to add them to their playlist. Well done.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Kyrbgrinder

Latest news

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Marillion - Made Again – Made Again marks the first official release live album documenting the Hogarth era, and contains tracks from all four studio albums represented by the current lineup. The 2CD set is made up of a live...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues