And Man Becomes the Hunted

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Grief's final album, 2000's And Man Becomes the Hunted, shows no particular stylistic growth from their full-length debut, 1995's Come to Grief. There are those who would argue that this suggests a paucity of ideas, but it's closer to the truth to say that Grief's musical aesthetic was so fully formed from the very beginning that only the smallest variations can be allowed, like the epic reach of the 12-and-a-half minute "When Rotten Ideas Break Free," a mock-heroic slab of metal that suggests that the group had a much sharper sense of humor than its image let on. (A song title like "Hurricane Jello" is another small clue.) And Man Becomes the Hunted is eight tracks' worth of gloriously sludgy tempos, doomy riffs, and Jeff Hayward's typically shredded vocal style. Grief's secret weapon, Hayward is that rarity among modern metal singers, a powerful vocalist who mimics neither Ozzy Osbourne's pants-too-tight screech nor the now-clich├ęd death growl of the European style; it's his presence that made Grief more than just another run-of-the-mill doom metal band.

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