5/5 - The personalization of Post-Apocalyptic Noise Grind: Gruntsplatter specialize in a form of power electronics ambience distinguished by roiling, turbulent sonic vehemence that rises from the center of the earth to a speaker rumbling perch overlooking the blasted, post-apocalyptic terrain. Always a step ahead, though, Scott Candey, the one man force behind Gruntsplatter, as well as head of the Crionic Mind label and Worm Gear magazine, has taken the foundation forged on cataclysmic ideals, and added a distinctly human element. I've read that Scott utilized personal loss in the construction of some of the music on The Death Fires. This key emotional element lends even more depth to an already multi-layered decimation of the earth. Not only is the earth drowning in the destructive forces that Scott unleashes, but now there are atmospheric textures and disparate tones that lie underneath, subtly signifying anger, denial, and melancholy. The mutated, corrosive, and wholly indistinguishable vocal loop that runs through "Against The Dying Of The Light," as beaten on with feedback and fury, seems almost an exercise in frustration, an inability to help, a patchwork of incapacitation in a situation that demands response. "Struggling To Breathe" is drenched in contemplative tides brimming with increased distortion as the track progresses. Scott's willingness to explore the inner landscape of torment and despair is featured here, as the thick, oppressive noise is like a straightjacket, forcing him to stay focused throughout the tenuous emotional venture. The subterranean fires that singe "The Resonant Soil" tonally highlight the shift the music has taken during The Death Fires eleven tracks, from day of apocalypse, to night; from a life lived, to the moment of sunset, the cooling embers crackling ominously, the moment before death takes one's hand. For music intent on swallowing the earth, the scope of what Scott has accomplished here, in giving it heart and soul, is nothing less than astonishing. How else could one explain how this 'roiling, turbulent sonic vehemence' could also be described as, quite simply, beautiful? Inspiring work from a major force within the realm of dark, sonic expression. Review from Crionic Mind.