Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Grindcore Top 10

With the number of yearly metal releases continuing to stay above 10,000 the "Top 10 Albums" list is increasingly attaining the unspoken addendum, "...That I've Heard." No one can listen to it all. For my part I've listened to over 160 grind albums this year, along with 28 EPs and 51 seven-inch splits. Yet still, when averaged against the full volume of available yearly material, I barely scratched the surface. At the same time, I'm still discovering quality bands and albums from a few years ago. That said, it's been a great year. Many newer bands are returning to the genre's roots. Add the advances in production and musicianship and it is easy to see many good things and solid returns on the grind horizon.

So here it is, my "Top 10 Grindcore Albums of 2009... That I've Heard." And honestly, I think albums 11-30 are just as viable, just as worthy of consideration. I knew right from the start that I couldn't please everyone, and since I don't have to, I didn't try. Still, you are encouraged to rip into these picks with the rapacity of a slighted sports fan. And if anyone is feeling constructive, then by all means, post a list of your own.


#10 - Weekend Nachos - Unforgivable
Label: Relapse
Buy here
Review






More hardcore than grindcore, less powerviolence than anticipated, Unforgivable probably doesn't even belong on this list. It's major redeeming quality is how heavy this album is. Not "heavy" in some Lip Service To The Genre type of way, but truly, neutron star Heavy. From front to back the riffs on Unforgivable serve the title justice.

#9 - Parlamentarisk Sodomi - De Anarkistiske An(n)aler
Label: 625 Thrashcore
Buy: Sold out. Pester 625 for another printing.
Review





Quite simply the best one-man grindcore band that ever was, PxSx encapsulate everything about the genre: lyrics dripping with unadulterated political fury, riffs covering every possible tangent between crust and thrash, and equally important, an approach so full of hate that you almost feel the same way about Norway that he does - even if you've never been there. There would be more fans if the production was a little better. It takes a trained ear to hear the goodness through the static.

#8 - Hatred Surge - Deconstruct
Label: Rescued From Life Records
Buy: Mailorder from RFL, or try Google.
Review




Strike another band off my "overdue for a full length" list. On Deconstruct Hatred Surge adds a secret ingredient to the powerviolence formula: integrity. Many will speak to the awesome vocal performances as a reason to enjoy this album. For me it's the music. The songs are constructed so well that this could have been an instrumental album and I would love it just as much. Deconstruct "feels" authentic.

#7 - Attack Of The Mad Axeman - Scumdogs Of The Forest
Label: Scrotum Jus Records
Buy here
Review






Tree Hugging Death Grind never sounded so good. Just enough punk influence to keep the grinding raw and just enough death metal influence to keep that raw grind from sounding stale. The fusion is rather interesting - instead of trading off one riffing style for the next, they fused both styles into their riffs. Is it deathgrind 2.0 or deathgrind done right?

#6 - Squash Bowels - Grindvirus
Label: Willowtip
Buy here
Review




I cannot get enough of this album. If it was released earlier in the year I would most likely rate it even higher. Grindvirus is as heavy as grind gets. The riffing is seriously down-tuned crust and the drumming is near perfect for the genre. Many say Squash Bowels play goregrind (which I am not buying for a second) but if that's the case then they are the Bolt Thrower of gore.

#5 - Nashgul - El Dia Despues Al Fin De La Humanidad
Label: Power-It-Up
Buy here
Review




Nashgul play Blast Beat Punk at it's finest - and toss in the right amount of thrash riffs to give their songs a constant feel of variety. Nothing new, nothing innovative, just pure attention to classic grind details. They also add a strange twist to the genre by having their "air raid siren" at the end of the album instead of the traditional beginning. I wonder what Andrew thought of this?

#4 - Super Fun Happy Slide - The Undislodgable Nugget Scenario
Label: Bizarre Leprous Productions
Buy here
Review







The Undislodgable Nugget Scenario sounds like the lost live recording of a grindcore super group touring in the late 80's. From their warning in the intro that "It's a Fast One" all the way through to the end, those of us who remember Reagonomics as more than a D.R.I. song should be sent adrift down memory lane. "I Can't Believe It's Not Carcass."

#3 - Afgrund - Vid Helvetets Grindar
Label: Willowtip
Buy here
Review







Slimming down to a three piece and showing a level of musical maturity not expected from a sophomore album, Afgrund truly came to play on Vid Helvetets Grindar. No longer the second cousin once removed of Nasum and Rotten Sound, Afgrund established their own style and approach this time around. It's got a little punk to it. It's got some thrash. And it proper grinds.

#2 - Agoraphobic Nosebleed - Agorapocalypse
Label: Relapse
Buy here
Review








I had given up on Scott Hull. Nothing he has done since 2001 blew me away. Sure, it's all good, but good can be found almost anywhere. Enter Agorapocalypse. Everything came together fittingly here. The drums sound organic, realistic, plausible. Any drummer could sit down and follow along. The riffs are as intense as Mr Hull has laid down in years. And Randall came through with his best vocal performance. It seems like all Scott had to do was waste a year of his life on a movie soundtrack that was never used.

#1 - Wormrot - Abuse
Label: Scrotum Jus Records
Buy here
Review












I question the integrity of any grindcore fan who does not have Wormrot somewhere in their Year-End Top 10. The only viable excuse is not hearing it. The entire grindcore ethos is represented on Abuse. Punk collides with crossover at furious speeds. Social and political issues are skewered lyrically. The only modernity on the album is found in the musicianship - which is flawless from beginning to end. "Here's your Patriot Act; here's your fucking abuse of power!"

16 comments:

vengeance is mine said...

fuck ya! you guys both have hatred surge and wormrot in your top tens (as if it could be any other way) i gotta say i didn't dig the new weekend nachos as much as their other stuff... but when i saw um live they were pretty killer. Nosebleed and Somdomi are of course amazing, and imma def have to check out both squash bowels and nashgul.
happy fuckin new year!

Andrew Childers said...

andrew's copy of nashgul has been tied up in the mail for two weeks now. grrrr.

also, the torture incident album i teased on the comp starts with a siren too.

and how the sweet fucking shiva have you manged to listen to that many grind albums. i'm truly impressed, sir. you are my hero.

Niro Kulendrarajah said...

The Parlamentarisk Sodomi and Wormrot are probably some of my favourite releases this year as well.

Your descriptions of Super Fun Happy Slide and Squash Bowels makes me want to give them a chance instead of dismissing them as generic goregrind due to the names.

Flesh Monolith said...

I'm surprised you didn't do a top 20 with your condition and all, not many people can headbang through so much thrash and not break their neck completely.

As always, i rethink what i know about music when in awe of your reviews.

p.s.

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206-grind said...

Man oh man did I listen to a whole bunch of shit this year. Listening to something like Fukpig makes even the new Mumakil sound godly.

Got a slew of Suffering Mind and the new Kill The Client split in the mail today. Happy fucking new year in deed.

Gravemarker said...

Super Happy Fun Slide sounds like the name of a generic goregrind band?

Also, don't fret, my list is on the way probably by either thursday or friday.

206-grind said...

Friday? Gonna make us wait until next year? What a bitch!

Andrew Childers said...

dude i just landed some suffering mind myself. that's one of my recent new favorites. and my nashgul finally friggen arrived.

206-grind said...

Figured you would like them. I think At War With Mankind is awesome. Digging their two splits out right now.

Andrew Childers said...

yeah bs propaganda sent me the split with lycanthropy and i immediately went out to order at war with mankind. that's pretty much the best endorsement i can offer them.

Gravemarker said...

Hey man, you can't rush genius, alright? It'll be complete and posted tomorrow...unless I get lazy.

Also, interesting how 206 and FM had their #1 and #10 switched.

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