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.
The main reason I’m giving this album high praise is due to its creativity. I love grind, but let’s be completely honest: most grind is essentially blast beat goes brbrbrbrbrbrbrbr and the song is over. That’s great! I love it! But when a release breaks the mold of the grind formula and does it well, you know that it’s a good grind record. While still being a grind album at heart with the fast riffs and the zany blast beats, Human Obliteration very often mix in complete tonal and emotional shifts whether in the middle of a song or for an entire song. And this isn’t just a slow riff that’s sad. No no no, anyone can do that. These parts have layers to do them, whether it be multiple guitars playing different parts, layered samples playing underneath, even some other instruments like piano--or even all of the above at once! This added creativity in songwriting scattered liberally throughout the record constantly keeps you on your toes and keeps your ears glued to the music.
Obviously, it can’t be grind without the… grind. So how’s that? Well, it’s fantastic! Taking influence from old school grind (and about 2/3rd a cup of crust punk,) the passionately furious riffs and speeding ticket deserving blast beats are a joy to listen to. No song really ever sounds the same and with the fantastic mix, everything fits quite nicely. The drums, bass, guitar, and vocals are all perfectly aligned and nothing feels left out or too present. Even the samples they sometimes layer over instrumentals fits perfectly.
Finally, this album has a lot to say. Even if you don’t read the lyrics, the song titles and sample choices should tell you all you need to know. Human Obliteration is sick and tired of what’s going on in this world and they want to let you know loud, proud, and passionately. That’s one of the things I love about grind. The enthusiasm and the desire to get your word out artistically. The need and desire to speak out and display about how the world grinds you to a pulp and spits you back out to be rebuilt and ground to pulp and again and again and again. Truly displaying what the definition of insanity is. They pull this off fantastically, and I respect and applaud them for that.
Just like all of us this year, Definition of Insanity is an album dripping with passion, anger, pain, and political and social messages. Its creative song writing and old school grind feel make it one of the best and most unique grind releases of 2020. If you still haven’t given it a listen, it’s okay, I still don’t forgive you. But please, do yourself a favor and give a shot. It might make this year a little less insane.
Human Obliteration - Definition of Insanity was independently released Feb. 2020
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We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!