MGF Reviews Cradle to Grave – Texas Medicine

Cradle to Grave – Texas Medicine
Eye of the Sun Records (4/15/08)

Cradle to Grave may hail from the dark corners of British Columbia, but the band emulates the groove-based metal of legends Pantera to a T. So, it’s little wonder the band has called its latest effort Texas Medicine.

Chock full of thick, meaty riffs, explosive drumming and antagonistic bass licks—not to mention that absolutely crushing groove—Texas Medicine is an easy contender for metal album of the year. With opener “Broken God”, a goliath of a track, the band grabs the listener by the throat and tosses them down 11 flights of stairs. The band rivals Hatebreed with “I’m at War With Myself”, and shows a more introspective side with “Light”, while still maintaining the choking pace.

But it’s the middle of the album that completely steals the show. “From Nowhere to Nowhere” has the catchiest, most punishing groove that only compliments the sing-a-long chorus. And the band throws in an absolutely sick bridge mid-way through the song, with an acoustic opening and wonderfully sung break down, well… just because it can. From there, it tears everything apart with the speed-inspired “I Am Nothing”, and ends the assault with a thick slab of southern metal called “At Last” (featuring a great group-sung opener).

Other highlights include the breakneck “F**k It Up”, the acoustic instrumental “Daughters” and pulse-pounding album closer “Beheaded in Paris” (with a nice extended ending that closes with Freddy Krueger’s warning, “You shouldn’t have buried me”).

There’s no shortage of metal bands out there these days, but not too many come even close to presenting such a blistering package like Cradle to Grave has done here. This is a total surprise release for 2008 that shouldn’t fly under any metal fan’s radar.