Buckshot Facelift – Ulcer Island (Review)

Buckshot FaceliftBuckshot Facelift are a grindcore band from the US and this is their fourth album.

Here we have over 40 minutes of well-written deathgrind. The band take the brief, energetic bursts of punk and grindcore, and entwine them with the staying power of death metal, making for an album that exists on both worlds. Continue reading

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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.

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.

Smothered Bowels – Thorax Driller (Review)

Smothered BowelsThis is the début album from Russian Grindcore band Smothered Bowels.

9 tracks in 21 minutes; Smothered Bowels waste no time with bringing the brutality and the blasting heaviness.

Featuring extreme pignoise vocals in addition to the odd incoherent scream, this is Grind that combines Goregrind and Deathgrind into one heaving mass of bloody chunks.

The Death Metal influence is apparent from some of the riffs and the occasional guitar solo. This is combined with the brutal extremity of Goregrind to create an album that teeters on the Death Metal brink but never quite fully converts.

There’s enough blurring between the similar genres to provide Smothered Bowels with an interesting foundation on which to lay their house of carnage.

The songs make use of Death Metal’s dynamics and Grind’s blasting insanity to create tracks that recall the top quality work of bands like Circle of Dead Children and Plague Widow. Both are firm favourites of mine so that’s a high compliment.

Smothered Bowels have put together a really enjoyable release that avoids the trap of one dimensionality by employing good songwriting and an impassioned bludgeoning.

An impressive first foray into the Grindcore underworld. Hopefully this will not be overlooked, and doubly-hopefully the band’s next release will be even better, as this is pretty damn good already.