GRIEF OF WAR – who have been hailed as “a total adrenaline rush” (Decibel) and “a mixture of Teutonic thrash and balls-to-the-wall speed metal” (BW&BK) that’s “tighter than a Sumo wrestler’s jockstrap” (Rock Sound) – return with a vengeance on new album Worship, which will be released on July 7. A new track, “Disorder,” is currently streaming on the band’s MySpace page, and the group kicks off their new touring cycle with a show alongside Into Eternity in Hong Kong this weekend.
Grief of War, who calls their kamikaze brand of thrash “samurai crunch,” first made an international splash with their 2005 debut A Mounting Crisis…As Their Fury Got Released (reissued worldwide by Prosthetic in early 2008). Worship should garner the Japanese quartet even more acclaim, thanks in part to a sharp production that was mastered by Ted Jensen of New York’s legendary Sterling Sound, who has previously put the final touches on works by acts ranging from Kiss to Kreator.
Worship also features a contribution by one other notable individual: Korn lead guitarist Shane Gibson, who performs a blistering solo on the song “Into The Void.” So how did a member of one of the biggest metal bands in the world – nu, true or otherwise – end up jamming with a comparatively obscure, retro-minded group from The Land of the Rising Sun? Vocalist/bassist/lyricist Manabu Hirose, who also recorded, engineered, produced and mixed Worship, explains it was quite easy: “Since Ken (Sato, Grief of War’’s lead guitarist) likes shredding guitarists, and he knew Shane would come to Japan while we were recording, he made contact with Shane and asked him to play on the album. We sent him the demo of ‘Into The Void,’ he liked the song and we welcomed him to the studio when he visited Japan.”