CARTILAGE - Gore-met (Review)
Written by: Blackie Skulless
Boy howdy, what fun it is when you find something that reeks of a gory bloodbath taking place in the kitchen! Just the album cover to Cartilage’s 12-minute offering Gore-Met was about enough to sell me, and the music sounds exactly what you’d picture. Grindcore riffs with blistering, incomprehensible vocals, all themed around body-horror in the kitchen is what we’re in for. Get your apron and chef hat ready, this is a wild ride!
“Enough To Make Your Skin Crawl” starts us off on the most conventional note, based around a failed experiment making beings become mutant and disgusting. The actual music is pretty death metal oriented, but the double-tracked vocals and smashing speeds are loads of fun. Helps it fit the overall idea as well. “Deranged Delikatessen” rails on with a bit more abrasion, tossing around guts and gore with slam-like rhythms and sharp blasts from the drumming.
NARAKAH - Blast Haven (Review)
Written by: The Administrator
Full disclosure: this haggard scribe is not exactly what one would safety consider a connoisseur when it comes to the weird world of grindcore and deathgrind. A certain base of familiarity feels like a requirement in an environment defined largely by extreme abrasivity and extreme...well, extremity, and I'm always left questioning whether my casual enjoyment of a grind-adjacent release will translate in the eyes of people who drink deep of the genre's turbulent waters. While the classics are always fun to revisit, and I'll dabble here or there when it comes to stuff that particularly grind-knowledgable people seem to universally enjoy, grind is a space in which I'm happy to take recommendations...but less happy being the recommend-er.
Today, however, I can hardly resist putting in a good word. Narakah is a Pittsburgh-based deathgrind outfit with an apparent knack for infusing the style of the early aughts with a fresh-faced flair. Their latest effort--the 12 minute Blast Haven--is an incredibly strong showing of Discordance Axis-esque chaos with a notable focus on intriguing composition.
Let it be know: Sleeping Village stalwart Izzy doesn't skimp when it comes to year end lists. As such, we'll be publishing, over the course of the next few days, a series of genre-specific Top 20 lists proudly bearing the Izzy stamp of approval. As "death" in and of itself tends to be a broad descriptor the assorted sub-genres existing under the umbrella have been labeled for yer convenience.
Says Izzy in regards to this list: "A summary of 2020's death metal to me is "everyone else liked it but I don't get it", very few of the years most popular releases clicked with me, so while I don't think any of my picks here are controversial, I think there is more underground-ish releases. Enjoy!"
Written by: Izzy
So, for a little bit now I've been doing weekly retrospective reviews on older albums I enjoy a lot, with the main intent being for you as the reader to find new albums you may enjoy, and for me as the writer to get to talk about albums I may never have gotten to otherwise
But of course, as I am human and not a machine, sometimes I find it difficult deciding on what to review, twiddling my thumbs and trying out various rough draft ideas until eventually that fateful Friday creeps up on me and I’m left still unsure what to do. This was my response to my (admittedly self-created) new problem.
Peasantry’s Picks! This will be an occasional retrospective format I use for talking about a small, themed selection of EPs or short albums that would be nigh-impossible to review in the format of a full-length dissection, but when paired together offer a lovely little charcuterie of releases to sample and taste. And in the last minute spirit of this, I decided I wanted to talk about a handful of almost absurdly short grindcore EPs that, despite their unimposing runtime, I can’t resist coming back to. Like musical junk food, these EPs and albums are addicting, almost impossible to play just once. Each project presented is 10 minutes or less in length, and some as short as 5 minutes! So if you enjoy grindcore, I see absolutely no reason not to do yourself a favour and check them out.
Written by: The Administrator
Before the music journalism Inquisition rakes my haggard frame over hot coals, let me make something clear: I don't make it a practice to read reviews of music I plan to write about. I like my thoughts to be my own, uninfluenced--willingly or no--by what others have said. But some rules are made to be broken, especially when the band's first EP cites, on bandcamp, a god-awful review in lieu of a typical about-us section. Seems like required reading in my book.
Despite what said review will have you think, the duo that constitutes Revered and Reviled Above All Others is not mediocre. Neither is their output boring, nor (my personal favorite) "listless music." While this release's six brand new tracks and accompanying Napalm Death cover admittedly bear a vague mark of maturity in contrast to their previous effort (which are repackaged on the cassette version of Toppling the Rotten Pillar), I am here to wholeheartedly assert that none of those prior adjectives apply. Y'know, in this scribe's humble assessment.
Written by: Volt Thrower
Bootlickers beware: this album is not for you. But for anyone else who wants to see the institutions of systemic racism burnt to the ground, this is the revolutionary anthem for you. Rising from the red of Little Rock, Arkansas, Terminal Nation delivers a brutal sonic indictment of humanity with Holocene Extinction.
Right from the get-go, Terminal Nation establish a catchy death doom sound in "Cognitive Dissonance." Raspy howls devolve into a sickening “bleugh”, which sets things off in a beautiful direction. A crushing mosh call to close out the album opener is a damn fine start. "Arsenic 'Fucking' Death" kicks things up a notch with a tasty grind passage, also bringing in the first pit chant in “extinction of mankind!” If you can listen to this album without getting a single riff/line stuck in your head, I'll paypal you $100 (CDN, so not much). But seriously, this album is just littered with memorable hooks and quotable lines.
Written by: Arzou
Undesiccated’s new release, צֶמַח (tseh'-makh), is...quite odd. The EP is like eating a $4 TV dinner. It’s pretty good, but there’s that inner feeling of guilt and shame knowing there are much more quality and healthy food options out there. Let me try to explain why.
First, to get the blatantly obvious out of the way before even listening to the EP: why do the songs have numbers in front of them? I’m not talking track listing numbers. I’m talking numbers like 29, 32, etc. etc., and in somewhat random order too? I was curious so I dug through their bandcamp and saw that every release was like this. The only reason I can think of this is that the band is numbering every song they made to keep count, but not changing the name of the song when uploading to bandcamp. This sort of lack of care and/or amateurism almost prevented me from listening to the EP all together, and yet I did out of blatant curiosity. Which leads to my next point.
Written by: Arzou
2020 has been quite the year and we aren’t even halfway done with it. For almost six months we’ve been dealing with pain, sorrow, anger, resentment, and of course, political and social issues. So much so that it’s safe to say that most people have felt like they’re going insane! I know I have. I’ve been cooped up indoors for 69 days! (nice). Luckily, grindcore duo Human Obliteration felt the same way and instead of writing countless facebook posts about how shit sucks, they instead released their latest album “Definition of Insanity” for us to eagerly enjoy with our ear holes.
Straight off the bat, if you haven’t listened to this album: do it. It’s 18 minutes long, which is shorter than your average episode of anime. Trust me, it’s worth it, and a much better use of your time. It’s okay. Your body pillow and cheap instant ramen can wait.
Now that I assume you’ve listened to the album we can continue. If you haven’t that’s okay. I don’t forgive you.
CHEPANG - Chatta (Review)
Written by: Izzy
If you’re at all into grindcore, you likely recognize this name. If you aren’t into grind you’ve probably never heard of this band in your life--such as the scene goes, the best bands go unnoticed to all but the most dedicated. That said, I am bringing this album to your attention for one simple reason: it fuckin' rocks and you should go listen to it.
Nepalese immigrant grinders Chepang have been blast-beating their way into the crusty hearts of fans ever since their 2016 EP, Lathi Charge. Chepang, however, have only gotten better and better with each release if you ask me (which you may or may not be, but this is my review). As they improved they also got more adventurous, and Chatta continues to follows that trend. It’s 28 minutes of razor-sharp, hyper-focused jazzy grinding madness, split up into a main section that’s 16 minutes and a 12 minute remix B-side.
Written by: Arzou
ACxDC (Antichrist Demoncore, for the cool kids - Ed.) is to powerviolence as Gutalax is to goregrind. Extremely popular but disliked by the fans of the genre. After releasing their debut self-titled LP in 2014, people have been waiting for a follow up either with excitement or baited breath, ready to throw “ACxDC bad” comments wherever they can. Well it’s here, ACxDC’s Satan is King has been released with 15 songs and 23 minutes, and I’ll tell you what: if Satan is King then Satan is one milquetoast dude.
You see, another similarity ACxDC have with Gutalax is that they are both, despite their popularity, very mediocre. That parallel still reigns true with this album. It checks all the boxes of a good powerviolence album, blistering and skulldenting riffs, slow and crushing sludgy riffs, the ability to confuse grind babies into thinking it’s grind. Should be a good one, right? Well if you think reading a textbook is really fun then this might be the album for you. Despite all the checked boxes it feels like ACxDC really just did the bare minimum and created a bland and tasteless cake able to be consumed by the masses but unable to be remembered by anyone.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!