Gross Reality – ‘Return To Ruin’

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Thrash Metal

Divebomb Records

Release Date – September 8th 2023

Gross Reality are an old-school thrash quartet out of Raleigh, North Carolina. They formed in 1990 then folded in 1996 before they entered the fray again in 2009. They knocked out a four-song demo in 2011 and an EP in 2014 before two full-length albums in 2014 and 2017. Here we have their third.

Heavy breathing and the sounds of a riot introduce ‘Carbon Shadows’ before they crash about warming up into the chugging riff and filling over a pounding rhythm. Singer/bassman Daniel Powell has more than a touch of Slayer’s Tom Araya about him which is even more evident by the way he spits out the lyrics on ‘Soul Substance’. ‘Prison Planet’ starts with a dark melody which bursts into a melodic thrasher with some spidery guitar lines throughout before more crowd and a news report begin ‘Mind At Large’ and we’re away on a huge bass line, punchy riff and fills before they settle into another melodic speed metal banger. ‘Time Portals’ bounces and swings along like those German thrashers Sodom before the darker intro to ‘Nightmare Hall’ which then erupts into a total Slayer piece of nastiness. Chaotic drums, evil riffage and Powell’s vicious delivery is perfect. ‘Dark The Sun’ slows it down a tad on a crunching riff and that swinging rhythm again before they change gears and they Slayer on us again before the title track continues in the same vein. ‘Solitary Hypnosis’ has a long creepy intro and slowly develops into something entirely different. It’s almost spacey prog that goes on for nearly 9 minutes but there are loads going on, so it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome.

It’s all here. Great riffs, driving rhythms, searing leads and excellent catchy vocal melodies. At times it grounds and pounds at other times it swings and bounces then it finally it takes you somewhere totally different. Well done Gross Reality on a superb album full of twists and turns of energy and aggression and a whole heap of melody. Excellent stuff.

Track List –

1 – Carbon Shadows

2 – Soul Substance

3 – Prison Planet

4 – Mind At Large

5 – Time Portals

6 – Nightmare Hall

7 – Dark The Sun

8 – Return To Ruin

9 – Solitary Hypnosis

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