[18 January 2009]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
It’s rare to come across an extreme metal band sounding at the top of its game on its self-released debut, but my, if Gross Misconduct hasn’t hit the ground running on The Process of Indoctrination. A carefully crafted mélange of German thrash legends Kreator, early Meshuggah (think 1991’s Contradictions Collapse), and the technical/melodic hybrid perfected by today’s generation of Quebec death metal bands, the album, originally released in 2007, carries itself with a swagger befitting a seasoned veteran act. For all the aggression exhibited on tracks like the scorching opener “The War Breeds On” and the stuttering cadences of “Driven Fanatic”, the British Columbia foursome sounds surprisingly accessible, exemplified perfectly on the multifaceted “Abhorrence”, as guitarists David London and Jesse Brint show tremendous discipline, letting their melodies dominate without overwhelming the listener with unnecessary blasting and riffing. Considering the amount of attention fellow Vancouverites 3 Inches of Blood and Bison B.C. have received, there’s no reason the same can’t happen for Gross Misconduct. They’re far too good to go unsigned much longer.