It appears as though the prog-metal power trio Kyrbgrinder have split. A statement on The Kyrbgrinder Facebook page on Friday 29th March said that the band were calling it a day, and gathered a large number of tributes from fans. A couple of days later the announcement disappeared without explanation, and since then there’s been no unambiguous statement from either band or management on precisely what the true situation is. The official website at Kyrbgrinder.net is unreachable, and neither their MySpace or Twitter accounts have been updated for a very long time.
I never got to see Kyrbgrinder at one of their own gigs, but I was fortunate enough to see them no fewer than four times at the Cambridge Rock Festival, inccluding two headline spots on second stage. Kyrbgrinder were one of those bands for whom the recorded and live experiences were two quite different things. On record, examplified by their excellent album “Cold War Technology”, they packed a powerful metal punch, but they could also be quite melodic, even soulful. Live, they were visceral and in-your-face, with the intensity of something like Rage Against The Machine. Johanne James, fronting the band from behind the kit has a magnetic stage presense, singing lead and playing full-on metal drums at the same time. They were always a bit bonkers, and always entertaining, and I’ll never forget the way Johanne invited several young children on stage to sing backing vocals on one song.
If, as seems likely, they really have split, they will be much missed.