Did anyone get the license plate of this album? After a six year hiatus Ney York's MAGRUDERGRIND are back with their sophomore release simply titled II. Being their sophomore release and there being a six year gap between album normally would be cause for concern. Fear of the dreaded sophomore slump is to be expected, but after multiple listens of II those fears were put to rest. Not only is II not a victim of the sophomore slump, but it improves upon and surpasses their first record.

II comes at the listener like a freight train, and never lets up throughout its fifteen tracks. II is almost 100% pure Grindcore, the longest song, Black Banner, clocks in at 3:26, and starts off with a groove riff. The only other departure from straight up Grindcore is Unit 731, which starts off with a sludgy into, but segue ways back into aggressive Grindcore. There's no heavy experimenting with other musically styles to found on II, which seems to be becoming a trend with long standing Grindcore acts. Agoraphobic Nosebleed, I'm looking in your direction. I have no issues with bands experimenting, as long as they can successfully pull it off, unfortunately a lot of bands can't.

MAGRUDERGRIND"s biggest departure on II is the absence of samples, which I feel benefits this album greatly. I have no problem with bands using samples as long as they don't over use them. An over use of samples can complete destroy the flow of an album, see Mortician, I felt that MAGRUDERGRIND overused samples on their first record. What also struck me listening to II was that these sounds would be great to dance to at a live show. I found myself doing a little dancing while listening to II.

II is a fantastic album that far exceeded my expectations. II solidifies MAGRUDERGRIND as part of the future of Grindcore, and is currently one of my favorate albums of the year so far. The only thing negative I have to say is that II is over before you know it, but I can't fault II for being short since shorter records come with the territory of Grindcore records. II is available now via Relapse Records. If you're a fan of Grindcore, II is a must have.