Sunday, December 19, 2010
Turkey's Sakatat have been working at it pretty hard in the past couple of years and lucky for us Semih, singer for these grind bastards, was able to lend a few words. Humble beginnings between high-school friends Onur (guitar) and Semih (vocals) in 2005, they've progressed to tour Europe, release 8 splits/eps (with a handful more to come), and worked to create a grindcore scene within Turkey. "I think we hadn't even realized we were about to start a band, that is probably why we picked up such a random word to be our moniker which means "offal" and obviously has nothing to do with what we stand for now." Even though their name might allude to goregrind (for Turkish speakers that is), it's obvious this band's sound doesn't rest in such a gimmick. One listen to their superb split with Dispepsiaa and you'll find yourself in some kind of grindcore time-warp; not sure if it's '87 or what.
Finally completing their lineup in 2008 with the addition of drummer Kaya, the band began recording and touring. "We have been pretty active after he joined in 2008, recorded bunch of split 7"s, played shitload of great shows, toured as much as we could..." vocalist Semih concludes. In light of there being almost no grindcore scene, and a very small punk/hardcore scene, Semih and co. have found ways to flourish by playing in some of Europe's biggest extreme festivals and consistently playing within Turkey and not being negative at the current lack of a scene.
Ucuz Can Pazarı
"As for playing grindcore here, well even though the interest in grindcore is growing, most people still have no clue about what grindcore really is, people tend to think it is same thing as brutal death metal or just some kind of joke. We have been offered to play shows with fascist bands more than once and people were really surprised when we rejected the offers and explained them why! On the bright side, many local punks and metalheads order our records and shirts and people seem to be aware of us, there are recently good number of people at the show when there is a good foreign grind band so there might actually be a grindcore scene here soon."
Beyond Turkey's growing metal scene, Sakatat themselves have had quite a time with the recent Bloodshed Festival in Holland. With big names like Magrudergrind, Suffering Mind, Weekend Nachos and Idiots Parade, not only was it a pleasure to the ears, but an event in of itself. "Bloodshed Festival was a blast[...] Personally I spent the first day catching up with the the homies[...] another good thing about touring, you always get to play with and see great bands." The band isn't short on notches on their belt as they've played at both Obscene Extreme and Play Fast or Don't, along with the recent Bloodshed Festival.
When asked about touring and productivity Semih claims "...we usually end up spending almost one month of each year on tour. We really enjoy it when we play those new songs live while they are fresh! I don't know if you noticed that already but we always try to have some kind of wholeness on our records, if that is the right word. Meaning that we try to make the whole record sound like one single cut not like 5 or more tunes put together. That is the case with the shows too. We like to play the next tune without giving a break in between and make each bunch of sets sound like a single song."
As all this touring, festival playing, and recording continues it's only logical that the band would approach the idea of a full-length release. "We never wanted to rush things when it comes to recording a full-length and finally it seems like the right time to do it. We have the general outline and ideas for a full-length already like the songs, cover artwork, concept etc... so we might give it a shot really soon. Interested labels shouldn't hesitate to contact us."
With great music comes a great attitude, as Semih exclaims " I think the charm and sincerity [of grindcore] would go away if let's say, a grindcore band made a deal with a major company. We listen to all kinds of weird shit, from obscure metal to punkrock and we are involved in many different activities like 'zines, radio show, setting up shows, booking tours, hosting touring bands and more so whatever we do, we keep it DIY and encourage our friends to do so. DIY, on the other hand, might have different definitions depending on who you ask. Our definition would be something like keeping it as capitalism-free as possible, not for profit, sincere and always partying like there is no tomorrow!"
And as for last words:
"I'd like to add that we have a split 7" with MESRINE coming out soon, it will be released by To Live A Lie in the States, Grindblock and Useless in Europe and Bucho Discos in Brazil, also the rough recording of our show at Bloodshed will soon be released on tape by Death Agony & Screams. Moreover we will record another split 7" soon, this time with our comrades MATKA TERESA and we might even go on a tour in summer if we manage to get the full-length out by then. You can check the other news and tour dates at our web-site: www.sakatatgrindcore.com"
Beyond Sakatat you can stalk their members in a few other projects:
Semih co-hosts an online radio show/podcast that you can check out here.
Semih's zine, Impact Drill
Nettlethrone, drummer Kaya's former band.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Bluntly said, I'm not happy with the output of 2010. Full length wise there were some good ones, but very lackluster (especially for grindcore/power violence). There have also been some difficulties personally. I know that Lycanthrophy's LP as well as The Makai's LP would be top 10 material, but I can't get a hold of them until after New Years. I'd rather not put off this list anymore than I have, so without further adieu here are the best albums of 2010.
10.Jesus Cröst- 010
A soccer (football) hooligan's approach to stop'n'go fastcore from this dutch duo. Just making it at the 10 spot with their World Cup offering -010. Thankfully the band's use of pitch-shifted vocals has been greatly reduced this time around. 206's review
One of the better mixtures of black metal and post-rock/shoegaze out there, Lantlôs take it down a notch after their debut but still offer up some blissed out black metal jams with .neon. A bit melodramatic, but it still packs that melodic and emotional punch we've come to expect from this group of bands. Features Neige (Alcest, Amesoeurs, ex-Peste Noire, etc) on vocals.
8. Nails- Unsilent Death
Ignoring the fact that the badassness of this album largely pertains to the ridiculously over the top production, Nails's debut is a killer slab of death metal tinged power violence. Think Crossed Out teaming up with Entombed. Short and barbwire bitter.
7. Protestant- Judgments
Milwaukee hardcore juggernauts return after their amazing Antagonist Ep from last year. A furious slab of metallic hardcore, that finds a good balance in everything that hardcore stands for. For fans of Integrity, Tragedy, and Behind Enemy Lines.
6. Bastard Priest - Under the Hammer of Destruction
I'm a complete sucker for old school death metal that finds its reanimated pulse to have d-beats. Bastard Priest are a pure and brilliant homage to bands like Dismember, Entombed, and Master.
5.Enabler- Eden Sank To Grief
Gothenburg tinged hardcore that's not afraid to blast and thrash, Eden Sank To Grief is a dirty pearl of music that's got the grooves to headbang to and the riffage to pray to. Underwhelming attention to this overwhelming band.
4. Salome- Terminal
After their excellent split with Thou, it was only a matter of time before another full length from this trio would surface. The band seems to have come into their own as their debut was good, but nothing out of the ordinary. Terminal is violent, heavy, and painfully noisy as the band experiments with much longer and sparse sounds. Oh, and Katherine Katz has one of the best voices in metal today, she absolutely kills with her powerful and varied voice.
3. Thou- Summit
If you read my review you'd know I wasn't completely sold on this one. With that said, Thou's 'good' is better than most band's best. Summit showcases some instant classics, as well as a more optimistic and experimental sound. There's a lot of buzz around this one and for good reason.
2.Suffering Mind- Suffering Mind
As I said, it was a lackluster year for grindcore. Thankfully though, Poland's shining star Suffering Mind put out this stellar release which almost makes up for the lack of everything else. Off the wall vocals match the firecracker snap drums and cement churning guitars. The band isn't afraid to slow things down with double bass bouts and stomach dropping rhythmic shifts; a must have.
1. Deathspell Omega - Paracletus
Surprised? Me too. DSO's latest effort was off my radar for awhile as I've become a bit dismissive of the band's mumbo-jumbo black metal. This time around, however, I find the band to be much different. The band has built upon the absurd complexity of works like Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem where the dissonance and jarring composure work to highlight some of the sublimely clear and melodic passages and riffs. Overwhelming is an understatement first time around, Paracletus, benefits greatly from shorter and more diverse songs and a lack of pedantic intros. Deathspell Omega have finally reached a point that they first alluded to with Kenose.
Here are my favorite eps, comps, and splits of the year.
V/A- This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 2
Sakatat/Dispepsiaa- Split 7"
PLF/ In Disgust- Pray for Death / Visions of Your Own Death
Machetazo - Necrocovered
Endless Blockade/ Bastard Noise - The Red List
Innumerable Forms - Dark Worship
Lycanthrophy/ FUBAR - Doomed to Consume
Swarrrm/Atka -Split 7"
Parlamentarisk Sodomi/Blodspurt 7"
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Released: Oct 2010
Release Type: Full Length, CD
Label: Selfmadegod Records
Belgium's self-proclaimed "mincecore" perpetrators continue to grind away with their most recent full length This is Not a Threat, It's a Promise. It is surprisingly the only full length release for 2010 (so far... watch them slip one in right as it ends). If there's anything to know about Agathocles it's their prolific back catalog (over 150 releases since 1985). The band itself has become a rite of passage in the world of grindcore, you're no one until you've done a split with Agathocles. A punker attitude than most punk bands, Agathocles always do things their way, and this one's no exception.
The thing that turns me off with bands like Unholy Grave and Agathocles is the (what I hope to be) wrongful idea that the band just records every little thought it has, and doesn't know the meaning of 'quality control;' fortunately that isn't the case with The is not a Threat, It's a Promise. Surprisingly diverse, coherent, memorable, vicious, and most importantly enjoyable, This is Not a Threat... quickly establishes itself as a damn good album. Songs like "Cleptocracy" and "Straight Lane" are quintessential grindcore; lightning fast blast beats to surging d-beats and power chords blistering gurgles and screams galore.
On the other hand, the curve balls of the record come in "God Save The Real Green Crocodile" and "Aside" as they are both catchy, distinictly 'un-extreme' yet retaining a total 'mincecore' tone. "God Save The Real Green Crocodile" starts witha very 70's punk riff and delves into a ska refrain with clapping, clean vocals and the most ska guitar riff you could think of; strangest of all is how well it works. "Aside" comes a bit later, and like the adforementioned oddity is over 3 minutes as well. The track itself is a midpaced somber one with tendrils of distancing feedback.
You don't expect a band like Agathocles to write good full lengths, but here it is. This is Not a Threat, It's a Promise, is a violent, mincing album not without a sense of humor and the occasional melodic hook.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Without further adieu, here's the list of Chainsaw Justice Volume II: Eastern BlocCore
1."Prawo"- Selfhate (Poland)
Poland's answer to Phobia, Selfhate rejoice in thick and buzzy guitars and bring that fine aftertaste of punk into a brutal grindcore sound. Taken from their album At the Beginning God Created Fear, Selfhate establish themselves as a crucial force in Poland's ripe grindcore scene.
2. "Birth Cleanliness" -Idiots Parade (Czech Republic)
Making a splash in the states on Scott Hull's crack frenzied baby of a comp, This Comp Kills Fascists 2 Idiots Parade play a very modern style of power violence with absolutely skin shredding vocals. This is taken from the adformentioned comp; brilliant.
3. "News From Pedigree" - Orchestral Pit's Cannibals (Russia)
Oddest band I've come by for this comp by far, and probably oldest too. They play a style of grindcore that sounds really similar to Impetigo, but gets all kind of bizarre (note the duck vocals please-no pig squeals here). Taken from their 1998 debut Exalted Oestrum.
4. "Kazdy Powod Wystarczajacy" -Suffering Mind (Poland)
Making giant steps, Polish grinders Suffering Mind just released their s/t lp this year and boy does it kill. Maybe my inspiration for this comp, Suffering Mind's defiantly the toast of the...country... if that works. Track taken from the self-titled full length.
5. "Two-faced Politics" - Wojtyla (Poland)
Wojtyla are just fucking awesome, they're my favorite recent discovery. Maybe there's something in the water, but like Suffering Mind, Wojytla rocks a female vocalist that has some of my favorite vocals I've heard yet. The vocals are very black metalish, and they match perfectly with Wojtyla's super heavy and dark grinding affair. Track taken from their split with Canadian grinders Archagathus.
6. "Rotten Glory" - Onanizer (Czech Republic)
Straight ahead grindcore that got you moving back in '86. Perfect mixture between punk and metal, viscous vocals; all killer-no filler. Taken from their split with UK jokesters Joe Pesci.
7. "Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Ass" -Squash Bowels (Poland)
Poland's favorite gore-drenched sons make themselves a mandatory player in this comp with their highly modernized take on Carcass's gory antics of the 80's. Too clean a production to get much of a play from me, they're still worth a listen. Heavy Grindcore that stays away from the putrid aftertaste of many goregrind bands. Track taken from their '09 Grindvirus.
8. "Samota" - Extreme Smoke ( Slovenia)
Holding the proud title of "Slovenia's first grindcore band." Playing gruff, lo-fi grindcore all the way from '93 Extreme Smoke are just that, not too hot but deadly if too much is taken in. Track taken from their 3 way split with Agathocles and Epilepsija.
9. "Skřípot" - Gride (Czech Republic)
Bad ass thrash-grind bastards Gride know how to do everything I want. There's thrashy grooves, grindy blasts, punky d-beats, gang vocals, riffs galore, and lyrics in a cool sounding language I can't understand. There's a reason why I kick myself for missing this band at last year's MDF. Track taken from their split with Lycanthrophy.
10. "Gore Ne Može" - Dislike (Croatia)
The former Yugoslavia countries seem to really know how to grind. Dislike, one of the only bands I know of from Croatia play a slick pseudo-death metal style of grindcore. This is from their 2006 demo Ctrl, dunno if anything else exists by this band, hopefully they keep trucking as it's pretty damn good.
11. "Queue for Perfectness" -Lycanthrophy (Czech Republic)
Possibly my favorite band here, Lycanthrophy rock a totally authentic and brutal style of power/fast/grind/whatever/core all with a female vocalist of course! Can't get enough of this band. In their 12th year, they've just released their debut LP, something I'm very excited to get my hands on. Track taken from their split with Suffering Domepiece (Mind)
12. "Lord of The Shits" Ass to Mouth (Poland)
With more goregrind then you can shake a dead, disfigured, prostitute at, Eastern Europe leaves a lot of shit to sort through (literally!), fortunately, Ass to Mouth are actually good. No lack of pig squeals, blast beats, or an absolutely crushing guitar tone, Ass to Mouth know how to grind and stay away from inane blasting and shit riffs. Taken from their album Kiss Ass.
13. "Starec" - Saywhy? (Czech Republic)
Blistering hardcore with male/female vox, how can I lose? Saywhy? know what's up and add a huge touch of punk which works so well. For fans of U.S. power violence/ fastcore bands. Taken from their split with Bastardass.
14. "Wicked faith" - БУТ (Czech Republic)
Reminds me of modern day Napalm Death if they didn't suck and knew how to write riffs and had a badass punky vibe. Track taken from their 2009-2010 promo.
15. "Suicidal Philosophy" - Needful Things (Czech Republic)
If you thought the Czech Republic only had awesome beer and sausages, I hope this comp helped change that; especially with the final contributor. Similar to bands like In Disgust who tread a line between death metal, grindcore, and power violence. Needful Things don't need shit, they're awesome the way they are. Track taken from their split with Genital Gore.
A lot of fun to do this, and eye opening as to how goddamn fruitful the Czech Republic is when it comes to grindcore. I hope you enjoyed this, await Vol. III due sometime around Christmas(sacre).
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Released: Autumn 2010
Release Type: Split, 7"
A match made in a mental hospital, German tech-grind wizards Atka pair up with Japanese bizzaro grind masters for this 11 minute blastapiece. Seriously, I wonder if being schizophrenic is as off the wall as these two bands; each one displaying an eccentric and extremely different take on grindcore pushed past its sanity.
Atka cover every possible inch of their side with their noodlely, technically drenched and Dillinger Escape Plan loving track "untitled." The first minute's unrecognizable from the last, and yet it all works. I hate gimmicky technical shit, so thankfully this ain't it. The high-point of song is the last minute in a half which sounds straight out of Murray and Smith's playbook but jumbled with blast beats and varied vocals. Here's a snippit of the song.
A different kind of crazy is what Swarrrm always is. "Maborosi" is a ballad a'la typical Swarrrm (i.e. pretty acoustic guitar paired to gibberish vocals which washout in an avalanche of drums and distortion). "Kono ude ni" is a great track, the best of the split. As always fantastic shifts from artsy/melodic riffs to pummeling blast beats and jazzy sections of harmony between the guitars and bass. Swarrrm still continues to be the most dynamic, powerful and interesting grind band out there; shame on you if you've never heard them before.
Here's that ballad to sooth yourself to sleep
Don't question your sanity listening to this, question the sanity of those who refuse to listen. Swarrrm and Atka are outstanding this time around, so pick it up!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Label: Selfmadegod Records
Release Type: Compilation
Not for the faint of heart, Sewn Shut of Sweden play a serious conglomeration of death metal and grindcore. The band reminds me strongly of Belgium's Aborted, their first album anyway; but beyond that comparisons are few for me. Sewn Shut's one of the few bands where death-grind actually fits. Blast-beat bouts come to groovy transitions and double bass romps that would get your local crew floor punching in no time. The lowly gurgles foil the sky scratching screams which allows some room for the throaty, wet mid-ranged rasps. There's a welcomed touch of technicality that heightens the death metal vibe, not to mention some sweet pinch harmonics.
One thing that really gets me hooked is their rhythmic attack. It's hard to describe, but it's like a rocking chair, or when you're headbanging and the sound comes and goes because of your motion. The drums crash at every quarter and the guitar plays an ascending melody, then starts over. It's pretty gnarly. You'll have to hear it yourself.
The release itself is a compilation of all their work leading up to 2005 (except their first ep and the split with Unholy Grave). That means: splits with Squash Bowels, Embalming Theatre, Ulcerrhoea, Mind Collage, Man In Shackles and three additional tracks taken from "Polar Grinder" LP). The only thing post Rediscovering... is a split with Nashgul that's quite good as well. Odd how many great, or well received bands they've done splits with, but how relatively unknown they are.
Anywho, if you like stomach churning, heavy, and dark grindcore that knows how to properly groove then I can't recommend Sewn Shut enough.
Here's a taste (samples are very hard to come by, 2 tracks on youtube, no proper myspace, etc).
Link taken from Brutal Zone
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Sakatat Myspace Dispepsiaa Myspace
Release Type: split 7" wax only
Label: Bringer of Gore Records
Sakatat and Dispepsiaa are a modern day explosion of grindcore that’s shrugged off the past 20 years of recording technology and happen to be the best surprise in awhile for me. Heavy grindcore played for heavy dudes (and dudettes).
I think Sakatat’s the first band I’ve ever heard from Turkey, strange huh? Good place to start I guess because these guys absolutely rip. With six splits under their belts and numerous tours in Europe I’d expect them to get snatched up quite quick like by one of those overseers of grindcore (Earache, Willotip, Relapse, etc). Stomach churning grunts, machine gun blast beats, dizzying moments of tension and breakout d-beats and shrieks makes up their approach. Songs are all about the trip, no 2 minute blast beats, there's actual writing here.Adım Adım Elerki by SAKATAT
Brazil’s Dispepsiaa (consisting of members from Rot) strikes fire right away with a very “Suffer the Children” beginning to “Falsa Realidade” and burns straight through with 5 other songs which all clock in just under 6 minutes. I love everything about this band; the guitar has that really flat low tone, the bass is just a monstrous rumble, the drums are perfect (the mid paced blast beats with hi-hat on quarters possess a hypnotic quality; a rarity in grindcore) and the dynamic vocals are a much appreciated homage to Vane/Jones.
Example of those hypno-beats
As their side progresses it seems to just get heavier and heavier until we hit “Algemas Da Bibila” which stands at some kind of heaviness zenith with its pummeling breakdown and final blast-beat. It's a shame these guys called a quits.
Put down your Rotten Sound records, stop fussing over what Napalm Death’s doing and for fuck’s sake turn off whatever’s passing for grindcore these days and pick this up. This is two bands who are trying their hardest to replicate the noise of a steam roller strapped with a hundred jet engines running over miles of glass and bodies; this is defiantly a good way to spend 3 Euros( I don’t know about who has this stateside).
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Official Sites: PLF Myspace - In Disgust Official Website
Release Type: Split
Label: Regurgitated Semen Records
In Disgust and PLF go together like gravy and fries, not the first thing you think of pairing with the other, but it makes perfect sense. In Disgust’s style of unyielding angrier-than-thou grind starts off the split leading to PLF’s Terrorizereque mosh grind.
Feedback fills the voids in between the Disgusting jams, alluding to a kind of authenticity 206 preached awhile back, and that’s something you’ll always get with this band. The production’s heavy, the guitar actually sounds like a shredder and the bass hits you like a billy club. There’s the typical In Disgust song structure, punk drum beat and coarse vocals, quick measure shift to blast beats with higher shrieks, it gets to a point where you can sit there and cue perfectly when the blast beats are due. I suppose it comes off as a knock, but it’s not; In Disgust’s style is what it is and I love it. Along with the punk beat- blast beat jumps there’s great gasps of breakdowns, and groove sections that play to In Disgust’s heaviness and brutality. Angry as ever, and thankfully short and sweet, In Disgust prove 3 years later they still have it.
PLF’s side is of a similar thread of quality. A much more traditional metal production, the guitar’s more muddied and nothing’s too loud or low. Within tracks PLF could trick you into thinking it’s a separate one (listen to “Thinly Veiled Collusion” at 0:38 and 0:54 it sounds like it could jump into another song) which might just be contrast with In Disgust’s typically shorter times and PLF’s “lengthy” songs. I myself never cared for PLF’s recorded material (could never make it through Complete Grindcore Annihilation), but once seeing them live I “got it,” as these songs are dynamic when given their short time frame and contain some great riffs and transitions, not to mention mosh friendly sections. There’s a Krullur cover that ends the split, although I thought a Krullur was just a donut, I guess I’m wrong (it's just as tasty though).
Buy it here
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Chainsaw Justice Vol. I -Olde Timey Grindcore
I started in 84, I think the latest I’ve gone is 1990. This was actually really fun to undertake, especially listening to laughable junk that for some reason I actually liked (Deadlock’s one of them). So brace yourself, I’ve chosen to include a lot of demo material from bands and I hope I show you something new. It’s no surprise this is mostly US/UK based(although Japan has quite a presence).
It seems the 1987 becomes the focus of this list.1987’s an obvious choice, ENT’s Peel Sessions, Napalm Death’s Scum, S.O.B’s Leave me Alone, Sore Throat’s Death to Capitalist Hardcore, Carcass’s Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment and numerous demos. I’d like to say Genocide’s (Repulsion’s) 2nd demo, Violent Death exemplifies the first instance of grindcore as we know it (I haven’t heard pre Scum Napalm Death, but I’ve heard it’s not really like Scum) and that was 1985. The playlist I’ve given is in a rough chronological order (I’ve only paid attention to year). Beyond that I hope you all enjoy.
Interestingly enough, going by Metal Archives (a site which claims to carry only metal, so bands like Sore Throat and Siege aren’t present) shows that in 1984 there was only one release dubbed as grindcore, Genocide’s Toxic Metal demo. Another issue that arises with this method is that bands that might have developed into a grindcore band, or shifted styles are still listed; even if they were a Christian rock band in 85, but did grindcore in 96, so take that into account as well. In 1985 we see 8 releases, only 1 of which is a full length (Rose Rose’s Emotional Disturbance which is really a hardcore punk release). 1986 we see 18 releases, 1987: 29, 1988: 42, 1989: 69, and 1990 there’s 114. For perspective’s sake in 1995 there’s only 212 releases that year and at 2000 there are 358. Unfortunately this leaves out a lot of the power violence/fastcore bands of the 90’s which might have been considered grindcore or whatever. And at 2009 we had 606 releases (8 of which belong to Agathocles alone!). It’s been an odd 20 whatever years for grindcore, for such a short passionate and burning style you’d think the adage “the flame that burns twice as bright lasts half as long” would stand true here, but with technology and the dedicated fanbase grindcore seems to be a staple in the extreme music world.
Here's the play list and quick rundown of each band.
1. "Cold War" - Siege - Drop Dead - 1984
Classic as classic gets in the world of punk and grindcore. Cited by all the big names as their influence, Dropdead stands to be one of the most important (and also great) releases of the extreme music world. Miles ahead of other hardcore acts at the time, Drop Dead was the fastest and harshest thing around.
2. "Horrified" - Genocide Violent Death - 1985
Repulsion before they were Repulsion. Everyone should know the name of the song as it's the title of one of the most important and best grindcore records ever. Don't just take my word for it. I'd say this is the first real example of grindcore. Blast beats juxtaposed with punk beats, so it's not just a crust beat. The riffing's total grindcore- simple sped up thrash riff, that distorted bass tone and Scott Carlson's half hardcore half prototypical death metal vocals.
3. "Evil Mayhemic" - Deadlock -Deadly Intention demo 1986
4. "Knock Out" - S.O.B - Leave me Alone - 1986
Another Siege like band. Obscure in America, (and the west for the most part) yet extremely influential in the development of grindcore and hardcore. Next to GISM, S.O.B's one of Japan's most important bands in the extreme music scene. Quite big now, but at the time they were only known to the underground and gained exposure due to Napalm Death and eventually a session with John Peel. From their first release, "Knock Out" is blistering hardcore, but if it had been produced heavier could easily pass as grindcore; chosen for it's bridging quality.
5. "Never Healed" - Heresy - Never Healed Flexi - 1986
Never Healed shows the pioneering style of hardcore that's just about grindcore. Searing blast beats, quick shouted vocals, and hardcore riffs sped up as fast as they'll go; I picked it just for this reason, to show the bridge between hardcore and grindcore.
6. "Divine Death" - Napalm Death - Scum - 1987
I don't need to say anything about this except maybe my reason for picking it. I've picked it 1. because the B side of Scum has them playing in a metal tunning, showcasing a real shift from punk to metal and 2. The structure is quintessential early grindcore, not abusing the blast beat and trying to figure out how to make the song last longer than a minute and 3. the shrieked vocals and deep growls are exemplary of metal, where as the grunts are more hardcore.
7. "Carry On Screaming" - Extreme Noise Terror - Peel Sessions - 1987
Like Napalm Death, I shouldn't have to say much about the band's significance. This song shows an anomaly of ENT's style as they use a sustained blast beat and move away from their typical d-beats of the time, yet the guitars are playing a typical punk riff.
8. "Psychopathologist" - Carcass - Fleshripping Sonic Torment - 1987
Pretty much the cue for gore-grind, Fleshripping Sonic Torment was eventually reworked into their first album. Downtuned and messy guitars, blast beats galore, demoinc echoing vocals- a huge jump from punk.
9. "Implosion" - Regurgitation - Bathroom's Rule - 1987
Later known as O.L.D, Regurgitation showcase an actually well recorded demo that shows few traces of punk. Heavy sounding, lots of reverb, a very metal solo and the vocals show this, along with Carcass, as the formation of a more death metal influenced grind. The riff around the end shows this for sure. This demo's surprisingly good.
10. "Benedictions" - Terrorizer - Nightmares - 1987
Interesting mix of punk riffs and drum beats which jump to really metal riffs. Feels a lot like a proto-death metal band, who is jsut playing thrash, but added blastbeats making it more grinding. Bad, but listenable production. The basslines are as thrash as thrash gets. The guitar tone and song structure really solidify this as metal, bending the punkness of grindcore to their standards.
11. "Vac Head" - Sore Throat - Death To Capitalist Grindcore (Bootleg, but same material) -1987
A lot more innovtive then I think they ever intended to be, Sore Throat begins the trend of lots of short songs, often a simple measure. Along with structure, the hypercritical and "fuck you" attitude, not to mention the humor of the band would be seen in countless bands after, both grindcore and hardcore (Insect Warfare's S/T, The Locust, Agorophobic Nosebleed,etc). The noisey sections of feedback, clips, and random sections seem to be the root of "noisecore" bands of the present.
12. "The Day Of Doom" - Deathpeed - Possessed By Speed Demo - 1988
Another Japanese act, Deathpeed was a short lived project of now Unholy Grave singer. I actually love everything I've found by the band. Songs tend to be long (this one's 5 minutes) and are written in a very modern kind of way. The thrashy/d-beat beginning which jumps to a very metal blast beat and guitar solo. The riffing throughout jumps from hardcore to a very contemporary death metal style. It's really interesting. I like it more then the 3 Unholy Grave releases I've heard. Reminds me of modern day Effigy, I don't think it's just because they're both Japanese.
13. "Born Backwards" - Assuck - Born Backwards - 1988
Assuck's one of the greatest metal bands ever. Okay, that aside, this demo isn't that good. The production's atrocious which pretty much hampers every other aspect. Beyond that this is totally metal, just faster death metal. Interesting to see Assuck like this.
14. "The Colour of Blood" - Nuclear Death - Bride of Insect - 1990
Really great track, totally grindcore with a very thrashy vibe. The vocals remind me a lot Vio-Lence and Dark Angel (in fact the main riff sounds like "The Burning of Sodom" off Darkness Descends). I think there's a cult following of this band, but it'd seem as they're largely forgotten.
Apparently berevity isn't my strong point, but I'll spare you for Vol. II.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Labels:Parasitic Records (USA), Living Dead Society (Spain)
Release Type: 10" lmt 500, MCD
Genre: Various, tribute.
I've been waiting for this one awhile as it was announced in the spring and now Parasitic Records has finally unveiled it.
Necrocovered is much like Napalm Death's Leaders not Followers albums; it's just covers. That said, what makes Necrocovered so great and interesting is the cast of guest vocalists. You can see with the guests as well as the tracks Machetazo covers a wide range of genres. From sludge (Corrupted), black metal (Darkthrone), thrash (Kreator and Carnivore), punk (Septic Death) and death metal (Obituary and Master), almost all bases are covered (ha!). Not only is it fun to listen to, but I can't imagine how fun this was to put together; I can only hope that they met up and didn't do this by sending respective sections to some studio.
Here's the lineup as well as tracks:
1. "Sex and violence" (Carnivore), lead vocals by Chris Reifert (Abscess/Autopsy).
2. "Pay to die" (Master), lead vocals by Johan Wallin (General Surgery).
3. "Skald Av Satans Sol" (Darkthrone), lead vocals by Skrappar (Lobotomized).
4. "Tormentor" (Kreator), lead vocals by Kam Lee (Bone Gnawer/Death/Massacre).
5. "Arrastrándose sólo" (Corrupted), lead vocals by Tim Call (Aldebaran).
6. "Demon" (Septic Death) / "Dying" (Obituary), lead vocals by Santi (Nashgul).
While they're not stretches, and don't sound awkward, they're outside of Machetazo's immediate sphere of grindcore which is another reason why this is so cool. They handle all songs perfectly, as they're respectful of the orignial, but at the same time interested in making it their own, not mention adding in a particular vocalist for each one.
The delicate balance between homage and replication is tough with some bands as I never see the reason to do a cover that sounds identical to the original, but at the same time taking the original expanding it to something unrecognizable is just as uninteresting. Like I said, there's a good balance to be found here.
The tracks themselves are all great. My personal favorite is the Master cover, simply because I think it fits their style best and Johan Wallin sounds downright evil. I'm also a sucker for something this heavy to have d-beats. "Sex and Violence" has the necessary whistle and Reifert does an excellent job fitting in with the up-beat hardcore-ish song. "Skald Av Satans Sol" might be better than the original only because I hate the fucking production on that Darkthrone album. "Tormentor" is practically turned into a grind song with an ample dose of speed.
The Corrupted cover is maybe the most faithful of the bunch, I was very excited to hear a grind band play sludge, but as it turns out they sound pretty much like Corrupted, just a better mixing job (Tim Call sounds exactly like Hevi which is a bit scary). Because of its faithfulness, I find this to be the weakest of the EP (not to mention I never thought much of that Corrupted song). The Obituary/Septic Death mashup is most ambitious undertaking of the EP, and it works perfectly. Santi's voice is perfect for this track. While it wouldn't be my first pick of a Septic Death song to cover, after listening I can see why they picked it. The fun pick up and go style of the song just begs for blast beats.
Well worth the wait.
Check it out here, buy it here or here.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The only band I've liked since I was 12, the Misfits hold a special place in my heart. Earth A.D./Wolfblood is essential, the only issue being that the song "Halloween" isn't on it (for that I suggest Collection II, or if you're a big spender like me, the box set). But you've got the more "hardcore" songs here- "Earth A.D." (my favorite), "Green Hell," "Death Comes Ripping," "Wolfsblood," etc. For the more upbeat kinda Halloween.
I can't say enough about this band. Old school production, lyrics, style, but refreshing in some way. Coffins combine absurd heaviness with gore drenched lyrics and imagery and badass song writing. Some songs crawl, some are propelled by d-beats. It's Hellhammer and old school death metal worship compressed with agonizingly slow tempos.
Midnight Murder Mania
Leave it to Razorback records to be on this list, but Frightmare are everything you could ask for. Thrashy death metal that's all about the horror movies you grew up watching behind your parents back. Midnight Murder Mania is catchy and absolutely rockin'. Employing riffs galore, varied vocals (from gurgles to screeches, and barks in between), and blasting drums, Frightmare offers it all. I prefer this to the cleaner sounding Bringing Back The Bloodshed as well as the handful of other Razorback bands. There's even a Misfits cover.
We Came For The Dead!!!
Very similar to Frightmare's brand of thrashy death metal, We Came For the Dead!!! is another essential. Started by members of Impaled, Ghoul is a tribute to the bands before them that reveled in gorey lyrics and a horror filled imagery. Catchy thrash riffs off put with blasting drums, a huge array of vocals and little noises here and there to keep the hairs up on the back of your neck.I used to love this band, haven't listened in awhile- happy to use this as an excuse to.
Aptly named, Hell conjure a horrowing and oddly bleak atmosphere with this tape. Mixing black metal, sludge, ambient, and drone, Hell gets your head banging and at other times it gets you holding the sheets tight. The juxtapositions are clear, as one track trudges in a super heavy and dark sludge tone, then goes to long stretches of noises and other effects eventually back to riffs. Black metal in terms of atmosphere, production, and vocals, sludge in terms of structure and guitar playing, and overall droning. This is the USA Hell, from Oregon.
This is my rip, so it's a bit rough-but i guess you could say it adds to the creepiness. Download
Horror Of The Zombies
As essential as essential gets, Horror of the Zombies is Impetigo's shining star. One of the first bands to pay such attention to horror clips, Impetigo matches the unsettling movies from which they borrow with a punky style of death metal with some of the most distinctive voices in metal. Punk like progressions with that dirty late 80's early 90's guitar/ bass tone and a lot of odd vocals, it stands out amongst the other death metal acts at the time. There is such an old school charm that surrounds this, you can't help but love it, i'd say the same kind of charm Horrified has.
Spain's best band (yeah, that's right I'll say it) Machetazo play a style of grindcore that dips heavily into the gore splattered death metal that I've talked about earlier. Raw, heavy, and fast is the name of the game. I've just ordered their cover album which I'm stupid excited for (check/buy it here). Zombies, movie clips, thick fuzzy guitars, blast beats, everything in Spanish, unique not without little homages to the gore lords before them; what else do you need? "Horror death grind from beyond" as they put it; it fits.
Death and the Black Work
Creepy and winding black metal that seems to be an endless void of tremolo riffs and drums with whispers and yells from beyond. It's a marathon effort as it's quite long, but the first track alone should give you a good idea with that creepy as hell intro and catchy riff. A real powerful album, I love it; overwhelming and dark as hell.
Unsettling and dismal, Gudsforladt plays blackened funeral doom; a fitting zombie shuffle pace for this list. Waves of feedback, sparse drums, shots of ethereal keys and odious growls and moans that swirl throughout the album make this release quite chilling. A real mood killer, but great to leave on and scare your neighbor's kids with.
Obviously there's a lot I left out, but I hope ya'll can appreciate this.