Review: “Destroyed & Rebuilt” by Growling Thunder

Growling Thunder from the Ore Mountains near Aue in Germany and  released their first full length album “Destroyed & Rebuilt” at the end of October and these guys couldn’t be more different as individual musicians. Their origins vary dramatically from Rock’n’Roll to Punk, Hardcore and even  Death Metal, so the bands sound orientates around chaotic riffs, heavy breakdowns, complex song structures with impulsive drums to make their style unique. They claim always to stick to their motto: “Five fellows, four beards, three guitars, two sticks, one big chaos…” and want to bring the energy of the Chaos Core to the clubs in their region and far, far beyond… (in a Galaxy far, far away? Oh wait. That’s Star Wars…)
If you didn’t know Growling Thunder were from Germany then you could easily be deceived on the first few listens into thinking they were from the Mid West. Vocalist Lukas Volberg does a great job at masking his mother tongue during the album an the accenting only becomes apparent after a while. “Who Have I Become” has hints at Everytime I Die or American Standards with that Southern sprawl in the vocals, odd time signatures and off kilter moments that make sure Growling Thunder are firmly Chaotic Hardcore. Frenetic pacing sees “Foundation” out of the gate with plenty of bark and bite while also swimming in hoedown two-step bedlam. The only prediction is that there is no prediction as it bounces around. “To Be Someone” has been around in demo format online for at least a couple of years, it’s Destrage esq lyrical poetry and industrial tinged opening makes way for scattergun riffs and the eerie tension of a rollercoaster ride though a Gas Works with a lit cigarette in your mouth.
Previous” slows things down a touch with some blood and thunder with dirty riffs before some choppy waters tempo changes in short bursts give an alternative dynamic. “Let’s Run” has also been around a little while and this version is as you’d expect, far more polished. If you can call the sounds of a riot polished that is. Tension loaded lead riffs at Hardcore Punk pace and some barked unclean vocals telling the tale are the order of moment and when you throw in a smattering of drum patterns what you get is a harsh discordant mixture of sounds with just enough control to avoid the run away train from derailing. “Vision” has a German language vocal occupies Post-Hardcore lands with slower delivery and by far the most direct sound. So Growling Thunder have it in them to write a more straight up track but why bother when you can create something wonderfully schizophrenic?

Hate” bursts from “Vision” and blends the styles like Vanna in vitriolic style with “who will whisper love into your heart?” the question. It judders and lurches like a wounded animal before “This Generation” brings a piece of socially aware panic to the album like someone has pushed the Red Button. The barked backing vocals add a deeper tone to the higher pitched roar of Volberg and as the riffs play out there are a couple of tempo changes down that light things up. At nearly five minutes “Real Love” is an on message rocket fuelled, groove laiden Noise Metal track that pushes you as as you’d dare to push back. Off kilter breakdowns and the strongest vocal performance of the album, Volberg is going to need to rest his vocal chords after this live chest beating. A thank you to Jesus for rescuing him from the restlessness inside his soul, it’s as passionate as it gets from this wild animal [7.5/10]
  1. Who Have I Become
  2. Foundation
  3. To Be Someone
  4. Previous
  5. Let’s Run
  6. Vision
  7. Hate
  8. This Generation
  9. Real Love
Destroyed & Rebuilt” by Growling Thunder is out now and available over at bandcamp

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