It's pretty cool to see bands that we reviewed in the primordial instagram-bound days of the Sleeping Village's life releasing new music. One such group is WAKE, the Canadian extreme metal outfit responsible for one of the albums that became fodder for one of my earliest reviews. WAKE are coming back in a big way with their forthcoming LP Devouring Ruin, out March 27th from Translation Loss Records. While we drink deep of their latest offering, please accept this (admittedly dated) republication of our review of 2018's Misery Rites. Without further ado:
Despite short runtimes, listening to a grind/death/hardcore album from top-to-bottom is often an exhausting affair. Look, for example, to Mammoth Grinder’s (then-recent) latest, Cosmic Crypt. On paper & in practice every song sounded great, and there’s a reason for that. Essentially, every subsequent track on the album was a copy-paste of the (admittedly fantastic) one before. However, despite personally loving the Mammoth sound, it lost its charm too quickly without variance. It fell apart as an album, and as a self-avowed “album guy,” structural integrity of the vehicle in question is always taken into consideration. Conversely, Full of Hell’s Trumpeting Ecstasy is a good example of an album chock full o’ brutal music that maintains variety, and, as a result, is something I can (and will) return to without fear of listening fatigue.
Written by: Izzy
Grindcore is a super divisive genre, I’ve only ever heard three kinds of responses when I ask people if they like grindcore.
A. "I love it! It’s the grossest, rawest, and most intense genre out there."
B. "Most of it is garbage, but there’s a handful of good bands, have you heard of Discordance Axis?"
Or C: "Ma’am this is a Tim Hortons please just take your coffee."
All of which are acceptable responses, but show a lack of understanding of what truly makes the genre so amazing. For me at least, true grindcore is the perfect fusion of punk energy and metal's ferocity. Now few albums do so flawlessly, even much of modern hardcore and metalcore in some way or another falls short of reaching this unrelenting nirvana. But grindcore? Grindcore is the one genre that knows how to harness that chaotic ecstasy and craft it into something that achieves that bliss amongst the madness.
Written by: Scribe Nathaniel
There are many words that could be used to describe this record: Violent, Aggressive, Awesome, and Evil being but a few. Abominable riffing and acid filled screams and gutturals can be heard all through this wonderful, beautiful, and short grindcore record. Dissonant and volatile guitars can be heard as they force inspired acts of pure aggression and violence. The strenuous vocals fill the thick air with terror, violently shaking the room, and the pummeling of the drums reverberate that aggression throughout the forest and village here at Sleeping Village Reviews.
Permanence opens up with an ear piercing sound of feedback before it begins its violent assault on the ears. Terror and Torture are one in the same within this record, it seems the goal is violence and brutality. Luckily this piece achieves what it sets out to do. The dank atmosphere is a wonderful amalgamation of brutality and speed. This whole record will bite onto your ears and spit them out as if Mike Tyson just beat you after a boxing match. This is a wonderful and terrifying record.
Lest ye readers read the forthcoming praise and subsequently turn upon us scribes in our lofty ivory tower, brandishing pitchforks and torches whilst profusely bleeding through wretched earholes, let me make something clear. Treading Water, the debut LP from Milwaukees’ two-man grind unit LIFES, is not a pleasant listening experience. Both in conventional and unconventional sense.
Treading Water is a brief but pugilistic cacophony, a squealing and burping punk-ridden grindy mess. LIFES carry themselves with the boisterous aggression, powerviolent attitude, and hardcore gravitas of Iron Lung or Dropdead, combined with the wild grinding invention of (my personal scene faves) The Locust. But sonically, the closest comparison I can draw is the vocal delivery of Liberteer's Matthew Widener. That said, both Zak Rudnik and Dave Holochwost handle vocal duties; I'm not sure which is which. Both are pretty damn excellent, it should be worth noting, and no matter who is roaring, the message comes across clear.
The ol' track review. It's been a while since we've had one, but lo, the promo bin hath spoken. If you're not in the reading mood--and really, we long-winded scribes shan't blame you--head on down to the embed below.
As a genre based in speed, aggression, and blunt-force viscerality, grindcore needs to be exciting in order to stand out from the bile-stained crowd. Brutality simply isn't enough anymore to garner or maintain interest, and that's why acts such as the wildly inventive Beaten to Death have risen through the ranks. Memorable, punchy, innovative, and perhaps a little unhinged. Necessary components all, and that leads us, conveniently enough, to the subject of today's review.
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.