Mortify (Japan) - Buzzsaw Sickness EP (2022)


Single-mindedness can be a virtue. In art, variety and creativity is often praised above all else. But there is also value to be found in iteration. Some creators excel by finding a few component parts they favor and exploring their every possible permutation. 

Japanese grindcore band Mortify is the fruit borne from such single-minded iteration. Self-described as "Swedish HM-2 buzzsaw grindcore," the band melds the iconic tone of the Boss HM-2 guitar pedal (known for its use in 90s Swedish death metal) with vocals that alternate between midrange screams and goregrind gurgles and relentless pounding drums to create brief, urgent old-school grind. Its subject matter doesn't deviate much from the template set by Repulsion in the early '80s: the frailty of the human body, as evidenced through sickness, decay, dismemberment and the ravages of toxic chemicals and radiation, and the depravity of humanity and the social condition.

Songs like "Stomach Churner" and "Chemical Plant" sound exactly like you'd expect, and that's a compliment. This isn't some goregrind carbon copy, but there's something familiar and comforting about the hyper-specific mix of influences here. This is a warm, fetid blanket that a certain sort of denim patch-vested grind fan will love to curl up with.

It would be hard to argue in favor of Buzzsaw Sickness against Mortify's longer releases like Grotesque Buzzsaw Defilement or Stench of Swedish Buzzsaw. However, the EP does serve as a sickening sampler of what the band does best, as everything is well-recorded and there is no filler to be found. Mortify is pure iteration, and there's joy to be found in that.

Buzzsaw Sickness is available digitally or on CD from Obliteration Records via Mortify's Bandcamp.

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