Rusted Eyes Awake
Amazing what a guitarist transfusion was able accomplish for these throwback Arizonans. Landmine Marathon’s debut ,Wounded, was a workmanlike slab of deliberate Scum sloppiness, Bolt Thrower’s martial rumble and sly Repulsion humor, but Rusted Eyes Awake stepped up the game with the addition of six stringers Ryan Butler and Jeff Owens who suture Uffe Cederlund solos and riffing to the band’s reanimated ’90s metal corpse.
Butler had produced Wounded, started brief lived grind band Mercitron (that name out to be familiar to Unruh fans) and even went curb stomping with Noo Yawk hardcore outfit North Side Kings before bringing his bone saw solo style to opener “Bile Tower” and “World Eater”-Jr. riffs to “Heroin Swine.” Mid-album standout “Xenocide’s” final psychotic eclipse from Obituary swamp crawl to Bolt Thrower breach charge hearkens back to Unruh’s sludge swing to tooth-rattling grind and provides the kind of album dynamics that mark Landmine Marathon as serious death metal contenders in a severely overcrowded cemetery.
Mike Pohlmer has always been incarnated adrenaline behind a drum kit and Grace Perry could lay Phil Anselmo low with her delivery, but Rusted Eyes Awake’s vastly improved songwriting and dynamics (check out the awesome spiral riff on “Bled to Oblivion” right after Perry tries to “break this cage” with the sheer force of her hair raising screech) have lifted Landmine from overhyped curiosity to rightful scions of the Warmaster.