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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Call of the Void – AYFKM (Review)

Call of the VoidCall of the Void are a US hardcore/grindcore band and this is their latest EP.

Call of the Void operate from a mixture of hardcore, grind and sludge metal influences. This sees them taking all three, rolling them into a dense, dangerous ball and then throwing it as hard as they can at anyone close by.

It’s always good to hear the band. Continue reading

Bent Sea/To Dust – Ascend/Descend – Split (Review)

Bent SeaThis is a split release between Bent Sea and To Dust, both of which play grindcore and both of which feature a plethora of members/ex-members of bands such as Aborted, Megadeth, Soilwork, Napalm Death, (Bent Sea), and Abigail Williams, Vintage Warlords, Humanity Is Cancer, Grave Plague, Fountain of Piss, Severed Remains, The Black Dahlia Murder and Phobia, (To Dust).

Phew. As you can see, there’s a lot of experience here.

The first half of the split is provided by Bent Sea, who give us almost 10 minutes of state-of-the-art ferocity. Continue reading

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.

Organ Dealer – Visceral Infection (Review)

Organ DealerOrgan Dealer are a Modern Grindcore band from the US and this is their début album.

Boasting a strong sound, Organ Dealer have come to smash! This is brutal music that’s bound to appeal to fans of extremity and destruction everywhere.

A fast, focused assault of tasty Grind is given further backbone by a Death Metal base and a heart of pure ferocity.

The songs are well written and paced, which might sound an odd thing to say of break-neck Grindcore but this isn’t a pure blast-frenzy; Organ Dealer know the value of a good riff and are not afraid to use it for maximum effect. When the mayhem slows down they’re just as devastating as when they’re going all out.

I like an album like this that essentially compresses Modern Death Metal into a tight ball of rage, clips the songs to about 1-2 minutes in length and then pours hot, scalding Grindcore on top of everything. I mean, what’s not to like here? It’s fast, ferocious and brutal, all with a modern veneer and enough musical talent to make it stand out.

The vocals are scathing screams that will leave you breathless. Deeper deathgrunts are also used and the impression is very much one of intensity and extremity. I can only imagine Organ Dealer would be quite a spectacle live if they can reproduce this faithfully.

Visceral Infection has the timeless dynamics of Nasum and Napam Death and the modern brutality of Maruta and Pig Destroyer. As such, it’s a damn fine listen.

Tune in and Grind out.

Maruta – Remain Dystopian (Review)

MarutaThis is the third album from US Grindcore band Maruta.

This is one I’ve been looking forward to. Maruta play ferocious and ultra-modern Deathgrind with plenty of violence and brutality.

There are some top quality guest vocalists on this album, (At the Gates, Pig Destroyer), but that is merely the icing on the vocal cake, as the grunts and screams that populate these seventeen tracks are more than competent enough to hold their own.

The songs are short and nasty. There’s lots of blast beats and chaotic drumming going on while the guitars rage and tear through the playing time.

Strange and atypical riffs share space with more traditional Death Metal grooves and there’s a touch of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s unorthodox take on brutality on this release, as well as a feeling of Crowpath’s equally unorthodox style.

There’s a little here for all Extreme Metal fans. However, mashed up together like this it ends up being a formidable proposition for those not fully inducted into the league of Deathgrind. For paid-up members though, Remain Dystopian is a twisted, nasty joy to experience.

Deathgrind for the modern connoisseur.

Columns – Please Explode (Review)

ColumnsColumns are from the US and this is their début album. They are a Grindcore band.

Columns play Grind that’s groovy and passionate. This is the kind of music that ignites pits and gets even reluctant Metalheads to start moving. Even when they’re playing at top speed and blast beats are flying everywhere the band have a definite swagger and rhythm to their grinding destruction.

Think rhythm, groove, brutality and individuality; think Pig Destroyer meets Aborted with the odd Carcass riff. That’s right, it’s wet-dreams-made-reality time.

The music is full of high energy riffs, crushing chugs, eviscerating speed and the occasional, remarkably Rock ‘n’ Roll, solo. For songs that are this short and brutal there is a surprising amount of variety and interest to be had.

The vocals are deep and growled or higher and intense. The singer has a good voice and range with some variety between these two ends of the spectrum occurring throughout the tracks as well.

Please Explode has a Hell of a lot of personality and each song is a hothouse of great riffs and brutal design. The thing Columns excel at, however, is ensuring that the songs become more than the sum of their parts. These riffs make full use of the band’s songwriting skills to really maximise the impact they have throughout the songs.

Rather then merely a few, (or a lot of), riffs stitched together to create a fast song, as a lot of Grind bands do, Columns create dynamic and purposeful riffs that gel with every other instrument and work synergisticly with the rest of the tracks to create a complete listening experience. It’s even more remarkable that this happens in songs that average about the 2 minute mark.

This is impressive, modern Grind that has a unique identity. It’s destined to be mentioned in the same breath as bands like Pig Destroyer as forerunners of the genre.

I loved this album. I’ll be very surprised if this doesn’t place highly on my year end list.

Essential listening for Extreme Metal fans everywhere.

King Parrot – Bite Your Head Off (Review)

King ParrotKing Parrot are from Australia and play a combination of Thrash Metal and Grindcore.

Harsh and energetic; this is the sound that greets you upon pressing play and the first song Bozo rips itself out of the speakers. Kind of like a more Thrash Metal-influenced Pig Destroyer; the songs are short, 2 minute-ish slabs of spiky riffs and throat-damaging screams.

Speaking of the screaming vocals – they’re demented, chaotic and absolutely insane; the perfect counterpoint to the focused assault of the music.

There’s no denying the sheer exuberance on display here. The band are no one-trick ponies however; they have a fair amount of ideas and relative variety within these 17 tracks and the high-octane ride is fuelled by a powerful rhythm section that propels the songs along at frenetic velocities.

They know a good riff when they shred one; mixing crunchy Thrash attacks with melodic licks and chuggathons the band have a firm grasp of dynamics and make the utmost of their short playing time to get the most out of each song.

35 minutes of Thrashgrind nirvana.