Archive for the Grindcore Category

Obivionized / Plague Widow Split Release – This Black Earth

Posted in Grindcore with tags , , , , on May 15, 2013 by Badass and Grim

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Oblivionized

Making up the first menacing half of this split is North-London based three piece Oblivionized, purveyors of avant-grind and maulers of inner ear workings. While most groups focus on the music they produce at suitably ear splitting volume, Oblivionized have decided that this leaves a spare hour in the twenty-four provided each day, and have filled that with recording, producing, designing, tweaking, recording studio footage for YouTube, going on tour, commuting and a hell of a lot of other legwork, with the odd beer in between. Rarely does a band throw itself so headlong into its own work, and it shows. The first track, Hope Is The First Sign Of Defeat, begins with a suitably melancholic spoken-word piece backed by looming tones that crash into discordant guitar riffery. It continues winding through a labyrinth of furious drum battery, tempo changes, breakdowns, destructive industrial-bleach-tinged vocals and spoken propaganda-like rantings. The guitars switch from the beautifully complex to head-nodding simplicity, supported by innovative drumming, and the space between the end of First Sign and the second track, Just Show Me How It Ends, is dominated by almost a full minute of ominous feedback and looming overtone, making it easy to imagine a crowd tearing open for the creation of a pit.

The song kicks in around fifty seconds from the start, with a chugging riff that matches the blood pulsing in your fists. This is quickly overridden by more technical wizardry from guitarist and bassist Sammy Urwin, who was also responsible for the commendable production and sound engineering of the two tracks. The trio have worked hard to produce something unique, and their technicality with both guitars and drums have certainly set them apart from other grind bands.

Plague Widow

Admittedly, when this split delight dropped through the floorboards and near to one of my limbs, I was in the process of reviewing Sacramento-based Plague Widow’s self-titled EP. Grind is one of those strange beasts that has mutated into many different guises over the years, and it’s intriguing to hear two sides of the same coin share a split, and this particular pairing of bands works brilliantly. While Oblivionised work from the sheer energy of frustration and anger, Plague Widow are the masters of dread, and there is nothing like fear to overcome angry spewings. Their self-titled album was riddled with deathly ambience and passages from H.P. Lovecraft’s ever-pronounceable ‘Nyarlathotep’, recorded with chilling hostage negotiation tape distortion. On this split, Plague Widow continue their disturbingly blackened breed of grind with their first track, Malignant, cutting short a haunting ambient intro in favour of full-on sonic battery. Unlike Oblivionized, Plague Widow have chosen the juggernaut death-machine approach to grind over the technical ecstasy of drum and guitar combinations, and it’s something that remains just as effective. There are still plateaus of breakdown and the occasional squeal, but the feel is much more death-like and sinister, particularly with vocalist Marc Dickinson’s abyssal utterings. Guitar passages penned by the aptly named Hal Rotter (also responsible for the cover art) and meticulous sonic discharge by session drummer Gabe Seeber seem almost effortless in the studio footage, but bring a ferocious energy that charges right through to the second track, Paralytic Levitation, releasing just under two minutes of pure blackened deathgrind that leaves you breathless.

The pre-order CD version of this split lasted just 26 days before it sold out all one hundred copies completely, which given the quality and sheer effort from both bands isn’t surprising. Not to worry for hard-copy lovers, however; BuriedInHell Records have shiny 7-inch versions of the split in various colours, replete with posters and stickers too. Digital copies via Bandcamp currently hold only two tracks out of the four, with the other two due to be released in June. If you can get your hands on a copy, do so, and if you can make it to the Czech Republic in July for Obscene Extreme Festival you can see Oblivionized destroy the place with the likes of Napalm Death, Cryptopsy and Aborted. Being over the pond doesn’t excuse Plague Widow, either – for more of their terror-music, check out their EP (which is available now in various formats), crank the speakers and turn out the lights.

Venus in Binbags

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Under Vultures / 466/64 – 10″ Split Release

Posted in Black Metal, Grindcore, Hardcore, Power Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2013 by Badass and Grim

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SPANISH GRINDCORE TAG-TEAM TIME

Under Vultures:

Formed in 2009, and hailing from Fuenlabrada, Madrid, Spain, Under Vultures deliver Grindcore with a Black Metal undercurrent. This record kicks off with a suitably grim sample “My life for hate, a vision dims…”, before hurtling into the first 16 minutes of the 10” which makes up the Under Vultures side of the split. The first thing to say is that for my taste these guys get the balance between the Grind and BM elements in their music right on the money. “Ions Inside” exhibits the discordant guitar harmonies of the far off frozen hinterlands before calling an emergency stop into beat-down territory, then the pedals back down for a race to the finish; that’s a lot to pack into 1:12 of song.

There are also some more straightforward Grindcore tracks, such as “Screwing Sickness”, “Trying to Avoid Death” or the brief 13 second double punch “And You More…” to keep those of you who prefer to have that pneumatic drill split your skull open unmolested by such heresies as song progression or tempo variation. However, the highlight is undoubtedly the three middle tracks “Where Life…”, “…And Death…”, “…Converge”, showing off the best of everything Under Vultures do. “Where Life…” is a minute of grim Nathrakh-esque bile, which dumps you into “..And Death…”. This a breakdown worthy of an on-site ambulance to deal with the quantity of snapped spinal cords and whiplash I foresee following its delivery. Finally “..Converge” jumps back into full speed Grind-mode. This a well executed collection of tracks which will appeal to fans of Dragged Into Sunlight, and you can look forward to another split release from Under Vultures later in the year through “The Path Less Travelled Records”.

If you’re a fan of grindcore definitely go and listen to these guys, there’s absolutely no excuse not to as this split is available for free on their bandcamp page (http://undervultures.bandcamp.com/). They will be playing at Summon the Dead Madridfest II with other great acts including Mumakil later in the year, and will also be playing with French Blackened Noisecore act Nesseria.

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466/64

Tip: If you search for 466/64 online the first suggestion you’re likely to get back from the google meta-brain is “7.28125”. If you are astute enough to add the qualifier “band” to your enquiry you will find almost jack diddley fuck, which is to say, these guys aren’t interested in you Liking their latest blog post / fashion parade / release from South African jail. What they are interested in is force feeding you bite sized portions of aural shrapnel interspersed with Spanish quotations and if you’re lucky some chunks of broken glass. The band bio that is available was in Spanish, and contained such revealing information as “one of the most powerful musical projects who have never seen the Canary Islands”. Intrigued yet?

The 15 tracks which make up the 466/64 side of this split are a mix of Grindcore/Hardcore and Power Violence (a genre pioneered by “Man is the Bastard” according to THE INTERNET). What you’re getting here is 12 minutes of convulsive violence which vacillates between bass drum barrages and punk laden riffage. The word that really comes to mind is chaotic, like a rabid dog who’s just eaten all the red skittles and has been thrown into a strobe lighted chicken coop. It’s not pretty but after 12 minutes it comes out filthy, covered in blood, sated but a little bit confused; very much like my ear drums after hearing this.

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Overall I give this: 7.28125 out of 10

Deej

 

 

Oblivionized – Fresh release update

Posted in Grindcore, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2013 by Badass and Grim

Keep within 10 feet of that disused Anderson shelter as avant-grinders Oblivionized will soon be carpet bombing your aural tract with the release of two 7″ Split recordings with Plague Widow and Human Cull.

Oblivionized have also been confirmed for this years Obscene Extreme festival, playing alongside Napalm Death, Cryptopsy, and Aborted to name a few.

You can check them out at:
http://www.facebook.com/Oblivionized
http://oblivionized.tumblr.com/
https://twitter.com/oblivionized

And watch their studio footage here… http://www.youtube.com/user/MalignantMProduction/

Deej

Black Mass – Of First And Last Things

Posted in Death Metal, Grindcore with tags , , , , , , on February 4, 2013 by Badass and Grim

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Another trundle through the underworld has been made rather more difficult strangely thanks to the myriad of band fonts now freely available for people to plunder. Just as many of the more extreme bands are having a running competition to see whose logo is the most illegible, it now seems almost impossible to find a stoner/psych band that doesn’t use a Black Sabbath font, or something that’s damned close to one. Enter Black Mass, who despite even the name are immediately betrayed by the purple ‘Master of Reality’ logo hammered into a different shape on their website. The album cover to their latest offering, Of First And Last Things, features the font from Sabbath’s Born Again, the trippy, swirling locks of a beardy man with hollow eyes and, naturally, a naked chick perched on his nose flanked by wolves and various skulls. If it were a book, you’d be looking for the ‘Stoner 101’ title on the spine of it.

It’s all well and good as the first track off the album, To The Cross, rises from the depths with a soothing amount of gain and rumbles steadily on towards the eighteen second mark, where something goes wrong. Instead of the dreamy soupiness of a vintage repro SG, glowing valve amps and a wah pedal, a variety of angry men with crushing guitars and anguished moans kick your ears in the flange and run away cackling. The guy who just crashed through your festival tent wasn’t baked; he’s pissed off and wants you dead, your tarpaulin home now a handy bodybag.

The Leeds five-piece have been going since 2010, with a demo, an EP and a split with Host already under their belts; Of First And Last Things is a compilation and re-recording of all of their previous tracks, plus a previously unreleased one. Black Mass describe their style as ‘horror, disgust and anxiety through tonal abuse and overwhelming volume’, which becomes crustily clear as the first track pauses for breath long enough to hear you whimpering. It continues with leaden thumps and wails that you can’t help nodding along to, even if achieved while still in the foetal position. After four minutes of sonic battery, the riffs fade out to something resembling the monolithic sonic of Sunn O))), only to unleash a brutal drum discharge and carry on the madness in the forty-nine second long W.P.P.V.B.T.Y.B. You can easily imagine the scene for a live version as resembling a medieval woodcut of Hell, complete with smoke, entrails and people flying off sideways screaming.

It’s clear to see elements of the influences the band list on their website – the track Left Hand Pass nods strongly to Entombed, and later on the album reflects bands like Cursed and Napalm Death, but in no way with a copy-paste attitude that so many bands in the genre have a habit of falling into. Black Mass are inventive and novel, and have the ingenuity to bring new elements to a genre they clearly love. The start of the newest track Corporal Imprisonment writhes with a dissonant, yet strangely melodic hum of guitars and the kind of synth chords found in Troma films, until a poisonous voice interrupts and whispers, barely audibly, “I’ve had enough of that shit”. It’s a strange feeling having your stomach muscles tense automatically for a beating that at present is only sonic. Powerviolence is one thing – psychological anguish is a whole new deal.

Having been dragged through enough crusty, dirty, bone-crunching riffs to get a sizeable infection as well as mental scarring, we finally reach the last track, Our Father, which is immense in both atmosphere and the story behind it. After approaching their record label, the band was told that they ‘sounded like shit but showed incredible promise’. A few months of hard graft later, the band returned with beautifully crafted recordings in the form of their self titled EP. The track itself is a behemoth of crashing drum battery, desolate plateaus of breakdown and mountainous riffs, strung together with the sinews of excellent lyrics voiced by what can only be loosely identified as a human being:

 

I stood before my father, begged him to reveal the answer

You are my children born into sin, punish yourself before life begins’

I’ll make you drop to your knees, you’ll answer to no one but me’

Embraced into another’s faith, I was pushed towards a living grave

Saw consciousness nailed to the cross, holy men or willing slaves?

We’re not guilty for a mythical crime, passed through the ages and nothing is there

No blood will save us and nothing is there, the sky is heavy with abandoned prayer

 

It is nigh-on impossible to defeat the urge to bang your head along to it and wonder. The entire album is a tour of anguish and violence that is utterly betrayed by its seemingly harmless stoner appearance, and they are easily one of the most ingenious and determined hardcore acts I’ve heard in a good while. The album is available for free while the band tour and write new material, which after hearing this offering I cannot wait for.

Venus In Binbags

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Human Cull / Homolka Split Cassette

Posted in Grindcore with tags , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2013 by Badass and Grim

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Prolific South-West grinders Human Cull have been throwing out more splits than a furious ice cream parlour in a heatwave. This time, they’ve been tag-teamed with impolite Canadian noise collective Homolka for a tape released by Goatprayer Records in December. Let us investigate…

Side A: Human Cull – ‘Cities Become Graves’

A note before we start, this single Human Cull track is actually longer than their last album but they’re allowed to do that because fuck rules. ‘Cities…’ kicks off the tape with purpose, direction and aggressive swagger. A tasty riff collides with blastbeats like Doom speeding in a built-up area and crashing into Drum Depot, but then it all becomes sluggish and deliberate, as the survivors climb out of the wreckage and take stock of their situation. Or, to use a vaguely less tenuous analogy, the track then resembles a rabid baboon being tranquilised by terrified zoo-keepers: filled with murderous rage, but slowing inexorably down. From here it’s the same three chords, ripped from guitars with full-bore tone worship, becoming a slow build exercise that Dragged Into Sunlight would be proud of. The whole maelstrom kicks back in at 9.40, and by 11.40 the rabies baboon is back at full vengeful consciousness, thrashing around and biting all the vets in the face with foaming AIDS jaws. Everyone dies, fade to black.

Side B: Homolka

Round 2 begins with screeching feedback (ALWAYS a good sign) at the tone of a whistling kettle, immediately evoking two of my favourite things, drinking tea and scalding unwanted house guests. What Homolka delivers is 6 songs in half the running time of ‘Cities Become Graves’. To express that another way, that’s 600% more grind in 50% of the time, exactly the kind of ludicrous quantum maths you get in grindcore. Do they deliver the goods? Yes, they do. Blastbeats aplenty, more feedback between each track, quickfire riffing and the frostbitten howling appropriate to their northern locale are all evident in shovelfuls. The track titles are devised with consideration and wit, one of my favourite things about grindcore: ‘Doped Up, Bloated and Rotting on a Toilet (Fuck Your Stupid Hipster/Rockabilly Boyfriend)’ and ‘Seth Putnam Isn’t Dead, I Just Saw Him At The Oak Leaf Steambaths’ are two absolute gems, the latter raising the intriguing, beautiful possibility that the late, great Seth Putnam may be some kind of latter day grindcore Elvis. If I have one criticism, it’s perhaps that some of the songs feel a little like Toronto in-jokes, ‘Rob Ford Doesn’t Care About Gay People’ and the 7-second ‘Book Us, Matt Cuthbert’ being prime examples but a quick trip to The Internet will give you the info if you’re interested. Side B is too short to even receive a welcome, let alone overstay it and it’s a good, solid effort from the Canadians.

Overall, this tape is an appetiser designed to make you hungry for more grind from both bands like a fat, disgusting grind-glutton. If you like what’s rammed recklessly into your ear-holes, I strongly suggest you check out the offerings from the lovely chaps at Goatprayer Records immediately by clicking here.

Keep on Grinding,

Rumple

7.5/10

http://goatprayerrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://humancull.bandcamp.com/
http://homolka.bandcamp.com/

Human Cull – Split Second Extinction

Posted in Grindcore with tags , , on January 9, 2013 by Badass and Grim

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Currently terrorising the South West and fresh from a tour with Oblivionized, Human Cull are no-nonsense grind up-your-ass and any other open orifices. They win instant B&G points for their misanthropic name (they existed as ‘Gran Toucher’ in their previous incarnation), track titles (30 Days of Ketamine is a particular favourite), and also for the fact that this album clocks in at a vigorous 8.8 minutes of old-school bludgeoning. The pretty rhythmic pirouettes of grindfathers Pig Destroyer are entirely absent – opening tracks ‘The Mechanics of Genocide’ & ‘Death Rituals’ do not fuck around with anything other than blastbeats and the pace doesn’t drop until third track ‘Oblivion Sleepwalkers’ which offers a filthy breakdown akin to the slow-motion bit in a beating. This is a no-nonsense album for people who like grind, it really is that simple.

However, therein lies the rub: this is no conversion piece that will turn people onto the grind. If you want chips, you buy chips, job done. At only 8 minutes, it’s no 40 track Nasum masterwork either, more of a violent seizure than a prolonged assault. Split Second Exctinction is a frenzied Doom-gasm rather than a Book Burner. Accusing them of being one-dimensional is a weak criticism though, and there are some genuinely raging moments: “Landfill Messiah” for instance is a re-working of the same track on 2011’s self-titled album, made heavier and crucially, nastier. The DIY punk ethic oozes from every weeping pore on this album, and with splits, compilation appearances and gigs aplenty over the last couple of years, these lads are working harder than Gary Glitter’s defence lawyers. These are well worth checking out too: ‘Cities Become Graves’ on their split with Homolka demonstrates a second dimension that’s lacking on this album as they effortlessly switch between furious grind and hateful slow-tempo filth.

Go check this out: It won’t surprise you but it’s not trying to. If you call out a plumber you expect them to fix your pipework with dedicated professional competence, not arrive dressed as a flamenco dancer and paint surrealist art all over your bathroom. In this case the plumber will grind your face off with an angle-grinder. Sorted.

Rumple

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Split Second Extinction here: http://humancull.bandcamp.com/album/split-second-extinction

Everything else here: http://humancull.bandcamp.com/

See the fury here: http://youtu.be/lsn3uCby4RU

B and G Podcast – Post Damnation

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom, Gig, Grindcore, Psychedelic, Sludge, Stoner, Thrash with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2012 by Badass and Grim

In this Post Damnation episode we discuss last months Damnation Festival in Leeds.

Featuring: Electric Wizard, Winterfylleth, Wodens Throne, Witch Sorrow, Vried and more.

Apologies for the audio quality at points.

Cheers

Murderdeth