Gristnam – Even Less (Review)

GristnamGristnam are from the US and play Grindcore/Sludge.

This is underground, aggressive Grind that takes elements of extreme Hardcore’s hateful violence and Sludge’s nasty groove to produce eleven tracks of Grind’n’Roll that is good for what ails ya.

Deep vocals populate the songs with a throaty aggression that fits the music well. The singer has a charismatic bark that has an appropriately Southern twinge to it, adding personality to the bile.

The production is fuzzy and heavy, allowing the band to be their filthy, nasty selves without detracting from the intensity of the music.

The songs have the Southern groove of Eyehategod, the confident swagger of Brutal Truth and the pure-blooded confidence of the Southern Metal scene. Indeed anyone familiar with the hotbed of earthy Metal talent that is Louisiana will recognise the tell-tale signs of this scene in Gristnam’s sound. Yet remarkably, like all of the output from this area, Gristnam have their own personality stamped into these tracks and Even Less is definitely its own beast.

These songs will leave you breathless and I imagine would transform a live show into a heaving mass of sweaty bodies and bloody carnage. The aggressive groove and dangerous assault of Gristnam is positively designed for the live environment.

Even Less has won me over effortlessly. What’s not to like here? Fans of underground, heavy, nasty music will no doubt lap this up, as they well should.

Check them out.

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Evisorax – Goodbye to the Feast..Welcome to the Famine (Review)

EvisoraxEvisorax are from the UK and play Grindcore. This is their latest EP.

Violent, intense and uncompromising; Evisorax have entered the building.

What can you say about Grind as demented as this apart from advising people to run as far away as possible? This is only advice to the normal people of course, for if you’re a fan of Grind then you should be hurrying to embrace the carnage that Evisorax deal as quickly as you can.

Evisorax are a whirlwind of destruction. It’s an apt image as their music twists, turns and convulses in ways that defy the listener to keep up.

I’d say if you combine the intensity of Discordance Axis, the unhinged brutality of Brutal Truth and the Sludgy extremity of Labrat then you’ll have a starting point for Evisorax.

Hidden behind the pure maelstrom of visceral lunacy that they play the band have a strong sound and actually have compositional skills. To the uninitiated it may seem that a band like this simply turn up, turn on and play whatever they like, but to the Grindcore connoisseur it’s clear that thought and refinement has gone into these tracks.

They may know how to unleash chaos but it has it’s own warped version of dynamics and pacing, which only increase the power of the impressive noise that they create. This is especially apparent on the penultimate track So Many Fat People, During the Famine, which sees the band expand their sound into wider Extreme Metal territories.

I was already a fan of Evsiorax’s 2011 release Isle of Dogs, but this new one has taken the extremity to a whole new level, and I love it.

Get this.

Cretin – Stranger (Review)

CretinCretin are from the US and this is their second album. They play Grindcore.

Cretin play Deathgrind with an Old-School flavour and lots of aggression.

The songs are high energy and blast all over the place in sprays of enthusiasm and accidental carnage.

The singer has a great voice that is driven by pure power and brutality but also contains no small amount of finesse. She sounds great and puts in a blinder of a performance.

Stranger has a strong sound that strikes a good balance between a full, well-rounded sound and a warm, organic feel that prevents them from sounding too modern or clinical. Cretin play vibrant, living Grind that just might bite your hand off.

This is one of the few Grind albums I’ve heard of late that has guitar solos, which is something I’m very pleased with and helps differentiate them from the Grindcore pack, although it’s not the only thing that does this.

Grind can be a one-dimensional affair if done poorly but Stranger is anything but. This is Grindcore that holds the interest throughout the 32 minute playing time. The songs are very well written and in addition to having lots of ideas they’re just plain catchy. Okay, so this is never going to be the kind of style to feature hooks that most radio shows would recognise, but you get the idea.

Cretin remind me a lot of Brutal Truth in some ways. Not in the sense that they really sound like them, (apart from the obvious similarities all bands of this ilk share), but rather the feeling they give me. Listening to Cretin reminds me of them as the Grind they play has the same song-based quality and feel as Brutal Truth, and when I listen to them it’s almost with a certain nostalgia as it really makes apparent how many other Grindcore bands these days neglect the importance of songs in their quest to be the heaviest, fastest, most extreme, most offensive, etc.

Cretin have the songs, the power, the feeling, the pure fucking class…wrap this up with the fact that they are very much in the here and now and ready to rock and you have a sure-fire recipe for a winner.

Vermin Womb – Permanence (Review)

Vermin WombVermin Womb are from the US and this is their début EP.

Made up of members with an impressive Extreme Metal pedigree, (Primitive Man, Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire), this releases takes that collective knowledge and experience and funnels it into a veritable natural disaster’s worth of extremity and violence given form.

This is a combination of Sludge, Grind, Death Metal and pissed off Hardcore. It’s not for the faint-hearted and sounds like the end of the world is coming. It’s brutal, nasty, and very, very heavy.

The songs here combine the ferocity and general disdain of Hardcore/Grindcore with the murky evil of Sludge and the brutality of Death Metal. There’s even a Blackened edge.

Take Eyehategod, Brutal Truth and Anaal Nathrakh, mash them all up, put the remains in a blender, force feed the resultant slop into a few hapless victims and the resulting screams of pain and agony will sound a bit like Vermin Womb.

The singer is probably one of these unfortunates as it sounds like he’s been gargling liquid nightmares and is now vomiting forth the worst of his experiences.

This is impressively ugly and it takes real determination and talent to create Metal this heavy and grotesque.

Absolutely horrible music that you can’t afford to miss out on.

Pretty Little Flower – Ultimate Whirlwind of Incineration (Review)

Pretty Little FlowerThis is the fourth album from US band Pretty Little Flower who play Grindcore.

This is savage Grind mixed with a bit of Old-School Death Metal and Punk/Thrash influences to some of the riffs.

The vocals are deliciously deep and guttural. A real pleasure to listen to. Total cookie monster vocals but they’re deeply satisfying growls that hit the spot nonetheless. There are also occasional high rasps but these are of the average variety.

There’s plenty of blasting and band seem quite content with keeping things fast, nasty and angry. Fine with me.

The nature of the riffs and the deep growls remind me of certain aspects of early Brutal Truth, which is probably why I found myself warming to this album so quickly.

The songs, as one would expect, are short and to the point, with most hovering about the 1:30-2:00 mark. This means they have enough time to build up a good head of steam before the relentless blasting and Grinding comes to an end.

The sound is fine and the drums in particular have a pleasing analogue sound to them.

This is for fans of simple, stripped-back-to-the-bone Grindcore that takes no prisoners and doesn’t even vaguely understand the concept of mercy.

An enjoyable release.

Dead In The Dirt – The Blind Hole (Review)

Dead In The DirtDead In The Dirt play Grindcore and do it from the US.

The band throw out highly aggressive Grind with short songs and even shorter tempers.

With a solid sound that’s so sharp you could do someone an injury, the songs blast out of the speakers covered in bile and thoughts of execution.

I do so love this kind of Grind! Heavy and fast at the same time; taking the blueprint and class of a band like Nasum and mixing it with bits of Sludge, Crust, Brutal Truth and Converge.

Take any selection of songs on the album and you’ll find a fair degree of variety. Sometimes it sounds like Eyehategod mixed with Deathgrind, (Strength Through Restraint), next it sounds like Uphill Battle if they totally gave in to their Grind influences, (Idiot Bliss), and then it sounds like a Hardcore Crust Brutal Truth, (You Bury Me).

Amazingly the band manage to perfect the balancing of frenetic, ultra-intense speed with heaviness and brutality in a way that most bands fumble, but Dead In The Dirt manage to make seem easy and the most natural thing in the world.

Better Grind you won’t hear in a while.

Sulaco – Build & Burn (Review)

SulacoInventive, modern Grind is what Sulaco have in store for us here, with the odd dashing of Death Metal thrown in for good measure. Think longer-song-style Grind, rather than the shorter-song-style. Like somewhere between Cephalic Carnage and Gorguts or Gorod. Only not quite like that…

This is harsh music and not for the unwary. Choppy, changing, discordant guitars lead the way challenging the listener at every turn, while the drums both set the pace and hold everything together. Needless to say these are skilled musicians who know their Grind, which is only to be expected as they contain a now-former member of Brutal Truth.

The vocals are mostly halfway between a scream and a more hardcore-style shout, which immediately gives the band more of an individual slant than a lot of generic Grindcore bands. It works well here and complements the harshness of the music with an almost Drowningman-type intensity that adds an extra layer of depth to the tunes.

With plenty of ideas, some sharp technicality and the odd flourish of melody and sustained aggressive Metal this is a most enjoyable album.