Wednesday, February 2, 2011

0100 The year 2010 through a Cephalochromoscope (Part 2/4)


/shiny grind - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[downright first class stuff]

Kill The Client - Set For Extinction
Not as abrasive, intense, or catchy as Cleptocracy, but Kill The Client is certainly still among the top of grindcore today, so now's the time to decide whether they want to become another Phobia or broaden their area of destruction. Slow down, add some melody, etc.? Fuck no. And stop sludging it up. I'm just looking at bands like Noisear and GridLink trying to become the blastbeat. Bryan Fajardo, you grind my gears. As for Witte, I hear he's playing with Black Army Jacket again, so hey, I'm not the one to wait for things to happen, but it's cool if they do.

Defeatist - The Sixth Extinction
I don't know what's up, but it's the relatively same story with Defeatist's Sixth Extinction; not as harsh, not as piercing. I mean, fuck off with the nicer, tamer sounds. That said, We get to hear the same irrationally angry band with a sense for groove similar to older Kill The Client, but with much weirder shit going on once you give it a the deserved amount of attention. Speaking of which, what's up with the whole "Extinction" deal? I don't know, but I'm gonna let it pass in favor of non-stop thrashing with the odd, fearlessly Discordance Axis-reminiscing hook.

Parlamentarisk Sodomi, Blodsprut - Split
Papirmøllen is back, albeit with what is probably the final Parlamentarisk Sodomi material. Don't be too sad, 'cause Psudoku doesn't fall much behind in intensity, handing out free kicks in the balls to anyone who thought that his (not at all) irrational anger against the cockroach infestation known as the (or a, as in, any) Parlament could weaken the slightest bit. Vote for Norway Blackened Grind! Blodsprut, on the other hand, churns out short noisegrind pieces showing love without shame for the good shit (like Arsedestroyer, Final Exit).

Swarrrm, Atka - Split
You know a grind band's established its reputation as goddamn weird when Tsukasa Harakawa's breakdown vocals on the opening song, Maborosi, barely make anyone flinch anymore (the "term" "emogrind" is silly enough to describe them nicely / doesn't pertain to screamo). The song's melody / motif seems to be a Swarrrm classic, as a very similar track already exists in their catalog (Hallu, on the 10" split with Dimlaia; I know my Swarrrm better than the calendar date). Maboroshieeeeeaah! Japanese crazies aside, German madgrind Atka employ insane circular riffs to paint the gruesome evolution of grind, putting the genre where it hasn't quite been, and they do this in such a way that it makes you wonder, "Well, why not"? If you enjoyed that free 6 track EP of theirs, there's no way that their sweet, untitled 5min contribution to the split can disappoint.

I Abhor, Wormrot - Split
Fairly old-school sounding, yet dissonantly modern (a bit of the old Assück violence?), better write down I Abhor as pretty sweet Los Angeles grindcore with a beautiful tin trashcan sound to the snare. Such things frequently remind me of Damage Digital and everything that is not St. Anger. Wormrot, the Singaporean kings of grind, merely continue their reign. I don't even know where to start, but, considering Abuse, they don't step it down in the slightest, starting with Fit's insane drumming, continuing with the wide-ranged vocals, down to the dis-tuned guitar. Coming soon, the second full-length, Dirge.

Sakatat - Splits with Cut Your Throat, Dispepsiaa
More people are slowly getting to hear Sakatat's savage, despondent noise - a good thing, 'cause grind is at its rawest when fueled by misery. Simply put, their stuff is a lesson in ferocity to each and every band claiming to play this sort of music; shit, they even do covers of all the right bands (Sore Throat, S.O.B.), and most of the bands that they did splits with impressed me in a similar manner. Cheers to Sakatat!

White Eyes - Aneurysm EP
Insane, Discordance Axis-worshipping German grind / noisegrind, to an extent. Their debut full-length, Beastmode, was certainly one of the best grind releases in 2009, whereas this thing, with a playing time of 2:26, shows an even shorter, faster, noisier, more urgent side of White Eyes. Excellent band, abrasive as fuck!

/assück - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[now playing: plutocracy - suckass]

Cellgraft - Deception Schematic [posted]
Florida's young DIY grindcore enthusiasts put out another slab of proper blasting, topping it off with a sweet, sweet cover of Assück's Civilization Comes, Civilization Goes, albeit as sparse in length as any other of their offerings (seven and something min.). This one wasn't free for download (namely, it was released on 7" by No Reprieve Records), unlike:

Cellgraft - External Habitation [posted]
A mere three to four minutes longer, yet melting a far greater number of faces compared to Deception Schematic. Grind happens when you forget writing sensible music and just thrash away, speed tickets included. What meaning has your comprehension of my riff while we're thrashing, eh? But I love noise, y'know, and the Cellgraft guys love Assück, Insect Warfare, the Napalm Death eras that make you wonder how anything with a breakdown / aesthetically oriented metal in-general gets dubbed "grindcore".

Worlds - Unforeseen Paths 7" [posted]
One letter away from Japanese noisecore extravaganza "World", Worlds are almost as noisy within less than six and a half minutes of destructive motives made obvious, stepping out with the self-confidence of previous bands and a fairly brutal 56k modem sound sure to make many listeners whine their fucking heads off. Concerning the "previous bands" remark + continuing the series of Assück worshipping bands from Florida, here's one with an actual Assück member, apparently (pretty sure it's not Pavlovich, so... Heritage? I dunno; the growling's not that distinctive, regardless to the noise that the record realistically contains. Who's Spinach? A third guy?). Also, Asshole Parade, they say, but I don't know these things for sure.

Amputee - Demo [posted]
What's up with all the hairy, manly, silly and nonsexual love for Assück? Whatever it is, it does me well. A lot of raw, quality bands growing like some berserk form of mushroom, this time from the garden state, New Jersey. All of 'em like doing ending covers, too, but it seems like Amputee make a sort of punk statement by covering Infest's "Sick and Tired". Similar to Cellgraft, this DIY ethic and all? I can get behind that.

/grind and powerviolence BFF - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[and ever: the eternal circle of the blastbeat]

Plutocracy - Off the Pigs 12" EP (heh, heh)
Well, it's been a decade since Sniping Pigz, but Plutocracy's manic grindviolence sure hasn't changed much. I hope for your sake that you're more than familiar with the forementioned album, as well as their early nineties stuff, including the 1995 split with Discordance Axis. Off the Pigs brings back the excellent use of samples, a track by Bastard Noise's Eric Wood, a bunch of blastbeats, and even some guest vocals from Agents of Satan's own Lord Ballsack. Never stop sücking ass!

Phobia - Unrelenting EP
The title says it all, really. Phobia's a grind band that everyone knows & most people enjoy - the sort of band that hasn't slowed down since 1990, now (well, it's been a while) with Fajardo sitting behind their drumkit (spinning on the seat like a whirligig, I assume). I still like "Grind Your Fucking Head In" best, though, 'cause it's the one closest to its title (meaning that I prefer Fuck What You Think to If You Used To Be Punk, Then You Never Were). Blastbeats, man! Haven't heard that split with Gadget yet.

Quattro Stagioni - S/T EP
Their split with Iron Lung is how I originally got to hear Quattro Stagioni. The mere speed of the spazz behind the kit is enough to make the sturdiest, most experience fastcore enthusiast cringe in fucking terror - 'nuff said.

Magrudergrind - Crusher EP
Fuck Magrudergrind and their pathetic justification, a band now claiming never to have been political. Naturally, this is hypocritical bullshit. Does anybody still remember the all too recent full-length, with tracks named, for example, "Rejecting the Militant Promise"? Forget about that and have some lyrics from, what, 2003? "America on Alert" from Don’t Support Humanitary Aid That’s Led by the Church: "Anthrax up your nostrils / icon of power falls dead / no reason for innocent death / fuck profit off of patriotism." So if it’s never been political, it’s been purely decorative. How wonderful is that considering other just as nice lyrics, such as (back to 2009, the S/T once again): " with integrity, honesty / and then happiness will prevail / your reputation destroyed / by your own ignorant actions." How about applying this to yourselves, eh? Not doing so would imply disgusting double standards. Arrogantly reshaping reality in regard to their own musical purity or whatever you want to call it (as of 2010), Magrudegrind have become a hollow Willowtip / Rotten Sounding grind clone anyway (as of 2009), yet one not even nearly comparable to bands like Kill the Client (Ibid.). Records like the Owned EP are the definition of love thrash, but this nostalgia seems ripe for decapitation.

Nails - Unsilent Death
Thought about putting them in the (pretty vague) hardcore section, but fuck, this is some heavy & heavily metallized grind with a penchant for the chug of modern hardcore. When describing the sound that Nails vomit forth, their record label does a pretty good job of mentioning Swedish death metal celebrities Entombed!

Throats - S/T
Vaguely powerviolent, Throats is somewhat similar to Nails, albeit much more on the hardcore punk side of things. Six tracks of ravaging thrash averaging at about two minutes each, except for the almost seven minutes long bass-heavy closer, Oaken/Wait. Throats raged and raged and now they’re dead.

Unholy Grave - Immortal Grind Legion, Grind Hell, Grind Killers, Blast Mayhem...
These guys just don't know when to stop. Might be a good thing, too. Unholy Grave are known to kick ass when they want to, yet the uninspired mid-tempo albums make the band as interesting as a new Head & Shoulders commercial. What have I to argue here, anyway? Half-assedness? This is a band with over one hundred records, a trait shared with:

Agathocles - This is Not a Threat, It's a Promise
Just another Agathocles record. Yeah, I could've said that for the Unholy Grave part, too, but I admit that I might like the fervent "anti-terrorist" of Japan just a little bit more. But hey, Agathocles is Agathocles, a truthful statement in itself (if for no other reason than faster bands being influenced by them).

Attack of the Mad Axeman - Animals of the Music Business
Err... I've not yet heard this. Based mostly on their 2009 full-length, Scumdogs of the Forest, Animals of the Music Business is bound to be good, good death-grind, anyhow, so I figured I'd just put it in here for others to check out.

Circle of Dead Children - Psalm of the Grand Destroyer
As much as I never really appreciated this side of grindcore, I could never really dislike CoDC's ugly death-grind, covered in sludge more rusty than fat. A lot of the band's "appeal" is owed to Horvath's wide-ranged vocals and romantically bleak, gore-stained lyrics, and that's been the case since their very beginning. It's been a while since the last one (2005?), and Psalm of the Grand Destroyer is damn solid, but not nearly as unnerving as Human Harvest or The Genocide Machine. Something just happens when I hear things as malevolent as "We Wear the Gimp Mask", so here's to not becoming desensitized despite the... world.

Humanity Falls - Ordaining the Apocalypse [posted]
I'm rarely the one to whine about the production job, but whereas the Worlds 7" was kickass noise, Ordaining the Apocalypse sounds as if it was recorded with a few cheap mics in a badly isolated garage (simply put, the lack of bass is much too apparent). Nonetheless, we get to hear thirty-three minutes of very interesting death-grind falling somewhere in-between Discordance Axis and Immolation / Gorguts / good death metal - as such, it simply cannot be dubbed not-disgustingly-awesome by anyone sane. That goddamn drummer doesn't spend a moment slacking off and it sounds as if he could kick his own ass (is he sufficiently loud off-record, though?), but I hope that - in the future - the whole band manages to pull their approach together for a less cut 'n' paste sound. That said, Humanity Falls let go off so many lazy metal gimmicks with both their sound and lyrics pertaining to philosophy and such, yet they showcase classically old school death metal cover art that could fool just about anyone in regard to the level of the material within, a tracklist topped off with a Pattern Blue cover for fuck's sake! Keeping an eye on these guys.

Bastards - An End In And Of Itself
I've seen this band advertised on some shoutboxes and such, and, being a young grind band from Ohio, I thought "Why not?" There's a some sludge and dissonance created with harmonics and such, in the context of something like a fifty - fifty metal to punk ration; overall, a pretty fun listen, but not a band that I'd consider inside my context of grind. Couldn't stand that triggered double bass, songs not really mad beyond the aesthetic of merely sounding as such, not really going anywhere or anything, it sounds more like... they're having fun? This is serious business, goddamnit.

/czechoslovacore - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[new borders are as important as old
ones; might include Holland&Poland]

Lycanthrophy - Discography (1998 - 2009)
Bigass collection no. 1 from damn rabid hyperthrash know-hows in disregard to English grammar, Lycanthrophy. Gotta admit that I went a bit "whoa" as I wasn't really aware of their fairly long existence, so hey, get it if you're in for nearly seventy tracks of Phobia-grade relentlessness, kickass punk covers included.

Idiots Parade - Discography (2005 - 2009)
[Hey, I THINK that this one came out in 2010.] Idiots Parade got a quite a bit of attention on volume two of Scott Hull's compilation that doesn't really kill any fascists. And deservingly so, 'cause they're a kickass Slovakian grind band if there ever was one. We experience some very fine lo-fi thrash for the first fifteen tracks, wherefrom (track sixteen) some nicer sound production kicks in, showing what might already be called the classic strength of fast music from eastern Europe... well, uh, unrelenting speed. (I mean, d'oh!)

Suffering Mind - S/T
Same story as last year's debut full-length, At War With Mankind - nothing new, but the stuff sure is ferocious (and one could say the same for most Eastern Block fastcore and grindcore), including a well balanced female to male vocal balance. Suffering Mind's well alright!

Jesus Cröst - 010
Everyone in Europe knows that football (soccer? what's that?) is serious business. And I mean seriously serious when I say serious. Don't know what to make of Jesus Cröst's inclination toward hooliganism, but their grind absolutely kills, a fact even more awesome once you learn that they're a bassless two-piece. 010 brings a lot of shit to the table, but it boils down to great hooks, wide-sounding distortion one step away from Rotten Sound, and those disgusting, hoggish vocal exhibitions that get showcased every once in a while.

[no thoughts on Self Hate (Poland) / haven't heard the album]

/a-thrashin' - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[fast to the core - flower to the violence / or not]

Hayaino Daisuki - The Invincible Gate Mind of the Infernal Fire Hell, or Did You Mean Hawaii Daisuki EP
The intense meaning of speed in thrash metal! Jon Chang's demands are widely known as psychotic, maniacal, vampiric, and similar, but he's a guy without an ounce of tolerance for what might be considered music done half-assedly. This is why he fronted the crème de la crème of grindcore with Discordance Axis, still fronts the extracted essence of speed as in death-grind with GridLink, and thrash metal with Hayaino Daisuki, a manic exercise in melodic tremolo circles of hell that nobody could mistake for black metal.

Bloody Phoenix - Death To Everyone
A punk as fuck band very much appealing to the fastcore, powerviolence crowd. I remember the over the top, nervous speed of War, Hate, and Misery with a grin. If this is the context within which you observe Bloody Phoenix, Death To Everyone shouldn't disappoint, but here and there, it might try your patience. Not as ferocious, really. Is the anger fading with the decade? Stay angry, guys.

Kasatka - Scene Slaughter [posted]
Two Belgian dudes a-thrashin' really, really well contra "attention-seeking elitist clones" and such. Scene Slaughter contains four minutes and thirty-four seconds of no-joking-around lightning fast kick - snare alternation; thrashing, as effectively awesome as it gets. Something that I rarely care to mention: the excellent drum sound, crisp clear cymbal work, with a fat thump on the kick, and an old school plastic trash can vibe on the snare. Here's a big shout out to Owen, the drummer (I still think Man pulls music out of his ass, man!)!

ZaSKaE - Chikara [posted]
Heard 'em thanks to a radio show of Nigel's (Hipness as a Second Language)! ZaSKaE is a German non-stop blasting four-piece, with riffs akin to Hellnation doing a Commodore 64 SHMUP's fastcore soundtrack. The bandname is but an allusion to the name "Sasuke", the bandmembers remain anonymous, and Chikara (Japanese for "Power") is their short 'n' sweet debut, free for download at the To Live A Lie netlabel. Naturally, I enjoy their pretend-Japanese aesthetic - reminds me of what me and Orfee did with KiKurachiyo.


Shanetera said...

I know some of the guys in Bastards. Good dudes, I haven't heard their album yet. I should get on it.

Andrew Childers said...

well fuck, man. thanks for preempting pretty much half my posts for the next two months.

am i the only one who was really disappointed with the new defeatist album? i just felt it was missing something (like vocal variety).

Ryan Page said...

A couple of bands from the label I'm on/working with; TPLTR. I'm pretty excited about bastards, and now I'm actually interested in Humanity Falls, from the name I thought they'd be mediocre bro death metal.

Ryan Page said...

Also for the record... all I've been listening to lately is bad alice cooper albums from 80s. i really shouldn't have the right to talk about grind...

Zmaj said...

Shanetera: Hey, it's free anyhow, so that's cool. Not what I was looking for, though.

Andrew: Eh? This overview shit can't compare to your reviews. :P
As for Defeatist, I did enjoy Sharp Blade Sinks... a bit more, but did I find The Sixth Extinction disappointing? No way. As much as they're unrelenting, they also have so much subtleties in their grind that it's almost like a prog-(Jouhou era)DxAx without the chug. [Note: I might be heavily exaggerating. ;D]

Ryan: Hey, that's right! :) I think Flourishing is also on TPLT? So they've been putting out pretty nice stuff.
Uh, I've been listening to black metal and

Andrew Childers said...

@zmaj disappointment may be a bit strong, but i did find it a bit frustrating. the vocals were not just tonally monotonous but all the rhythms and delivery were pretty identical.

@ryan, i plan on putting something up on bastards next week (their album is free for download) but that's another one that just really didn't move me much. it just lacks some vitality at its core.