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The Great Northern Whalekill

Minus

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Album Review

The cover art of Minus' The Great Northern Whalekill is, undoubtedly deliberately, offensive on several levels at once, but in a way that mostly just makes the offended feel slightly sorry for the perpetrator, as in "Really? That's the best possible cover art you could come up with for this record? How very sad and pathetic of you." Kind of a drag, because although the cover is indeed astonishingly lame (and even the album title, a bald-faced rip-off of a Pantera classic, is extremely naff in itself), The Great Northern Whalekill is in fact a moderately awesome piece of all-out post-hardcore thrash. One of those rare bands in the style who sacrifice neither melody nor dynamics nor lyrical intelligibility in favor of velocity and attitude, Minus manage to combine all the best parts of several types of heavy rock on this album with little of the chaff. Echoes not only of Pantera (who would be an obvious touchstone even without the namechecking of the album title), but Motörhead's punk-friendly, stripped-down speed metal and even the radio-friendly stoner rock of Queens of the Stone Age are all over songs as brutally powerful as "Rhythm Cure" and "Rip It Up" and as surprisingly melodic as "Futurist" and "Throwaway Angel." After a decade as cult favorites little known outside of their native Iceland and the international post-hardcore underground, The Great Northern Whalekill is potentially a deserved breakthrough to a wider audience.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Reykjavik, Iceland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Forming in 1998 while its members were still in their teens, Iceland's Minus quickly began turning heads among the local hardcore scene with brutal sounds and an incendiary live show. Comprised of vocalist Krummi, drummer Bjossi, bassist Johnny, and guitarists Frosti and Bjarni, the five-piece got their start wanting to simply make "disgusting music." Their debut, Hey Johnny!, appeared a year later as a raucous mix of post-hardcore sung in their native Icelandic. The band made the switch to English...
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The Great Northern Whalekill, Minus
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