Barrows – Swine Race (Review)

BarrowsBarrows are a Canadian Grindcore band and this is their début album.

This is sophisticated-yet-ugly Grindcore that’s added to and fleshed out by Brutal Death Metal elements, resulting in savage Deathgrind the likes of which will be too extreme for most.

The songs combine rhythmic, pulsing mayhem with blasting carnage and insane guitar torture. There actually is occasional melody involved in their assault too, albeit of a twisted, warped variety.

There’s a lot going on in these songs as the band chug, Grind, blast, groove and rip their way through the 29 minutes on this album with vicious glee and crazed enthusiasm. It’s all about the brutality, but with a surprisingly varied attack. The point is, Barrows are a multi-dimensional band with many different facets to their offensive rather than just playing ferociously fast.

The vocals are a fierce collection of grunts, screams and pig-noises that are enough to scare away all but the most hardened of Extreme Metal fans. The singer’s performance is not to be faulted and he frequently sounds like about 100 maniacs all at the same time, which is no mean feat.

Sort of like a cross between Cattle Decapitation, Pig Destroyer and Circle of Dead Children; Barrows have produced quite a stunner of an album, which is up there with the latest Maruta release as a prime example of quality Deathgrind.

Essential listening for all fans of Grindcore extremity.

Cattle Decapitation – The Anthropocene Extinction (Review)

Cattle DecapitationThis is the seventh album from veteran US Death metal band Cattle Decapitation.

Based on the concept of humanity dying out due to its own actions, Cattle Decapitation return once more to show that Death Metal can be savage and intelligent at the same time.

Cattle Decapitation’s take on Death Metal is an ever-developing one that seems to only improve over time. Pretty much a Progressive Death Metal band at this point, they still have a core of Brutal Death Metal with a touch of Grindcore, but this has been expanded upon and augmented by Progressive and melodic components, all without sacrificing the essential extremity of the band.

The vocals are impressively delivered and the singer proves he has a versatile and vicious palette of vocalisations to work from, be that grunting nastiness, utter pignoise, hateful screams or strange, mutant, melodic semi-cleans that sound like a strangled Devin Townsend. This latter statement may not sound very complimentary but it is; they’re very emotive in an inhuman way.

The music ranges from the ultra-brutal, to the meaningfully melodic, to the Progressively expansive, to the dynamically riff-heavy, to the atmospherically apocalyptic. It’s a multifaceted and interesting sound that manages to surprisingly accomplish two very important and hard-to-do-tasks – the first is that it manages to remain extreme, regardless of all of these other additions and excursions; the second is that it manges to do this while having an emotional depth that is simply lacking in a lot of bands, never mind Death Metal ones. These are songs that can actually cause an emotional response from the listener, as well as simply being great to bang your head and stamp along to.

This is 46 minutes of quality Death Metal that’s not afraid to do its own thing. Cattle Decapitation are one of those rare bands that really do just get better with age.

An essential listen.

Nervous Impulse – Time to Panic (Review)

Nervous ImpulseNervous Impulse are from Canada and this is their second album. They play Deathgrind.

This is a band who worship extremity and brutality above all else. Surely their motto must be “everything sicker than everything else”?

Their take on Grindcore is an interesting one because of this, as they don’t limit themselves just to their parent genre. Instead, they branch out into related areas and claim the most brutal elements as their own; Death Metal and Deathcore, being the main ones.

The songs are frequently complicated affairs that marry the short, chaotic brutality of Grind with the still-brutal, more song-structured nature of Death Metal. The end result is somewhat of a cross between Cryptopsy, Brutal Truth, Cattle Decapitation and Circle of Dead Children.

Speaking of Cryptopsy, the production on Time to Panic is not a million miles away from that of my favourite Cryptopsy album None So Vile, so you know that the sound is tight and precise.

Oh, and there’s an Agoraphobic Nosebleed cover. How ace is that?

Nervous Impulse write their songs to be heavy and extreme but still make sure they are written well rather than just a selection of strung-together riffs. It’s really quite tasty.

Vocally, we get pignoise, deathgrunts, screams; anything and everything to make the harshest noises imaginable.

If you like Extreme Metal with enough chaos and brutality to stun and enough songwriting skill to hold interest then check this out. I just can’t stop listening to the fucking thing.

Nader Sadek – The Malefic: Chapter III (Review)

Nader SadekThis is the latest EP from “supergroup” band Nader Sadek.

The project features contributions ex- and current members of such notable bands as Cryptopsy, Aura Noir, Decapitated and Cattle Decapitation.

This is dark Death Metal with an aura of evil and a Classic Death Metal feel to it without it ever becoming overly Old-School in nature.

The general vibe is one of a cross between Morbid Angel and Deicide, although there is more going on here than just this, notably so on closing track Descent which features more of a Doom/atmospheric influence.

There are four songs on this EP, clocking in at just under 21 minutes in total, and each one of them has clearly had a lot of work put into it.

It’s very well recorded and the drums in particular sound thunderous. Everything is tight and well-played, as one would expect from musicians of this calibre.

The songs are enjoyable flights of Death Metal fancy and do a great job of delivering the goods.

Quality work.