When I was an obsessive grind-head with little or few tastes outside harsh grind, Pig Destroyer were one of my favourite bands. I still throw on Prowler In The Yard and Terrifyer with far more regularity than most grind albums of yesteryear. The Sydney leg of their Australian tour back in 2008 was outrageous, drunken, grind fun -- topped perhaps only by seeing Insect Warfare and Agents of Abhorrence in Maggotsville warehouse earlier that year.
It is therefore with great joy that I learn Pig Destroyer are back in the studio for the first time in 5 years! From Relapse Records:
The extreme music world is about to get a much needed cinderblock to the face as the mighty PIG DESTROYER has entered the studio to record their highly anticipated 5th full-length record and first album in over five years! The band is self-producing and recording the new album at guitarist Scott Hull’s Visceral Sound Studios in Alexandria, VA. The as-of-yet-titled album is a return to a raw, primitive sound and will feature 19 songs of their signature misanthropic grind. A late 2012 release is expected via Relapse Records.
This time around, PIG DESTROYER have enlisted the help of Adam Jarvis (MISERY INDEX) to lend inhuman drumming skills to the aural hatred. Now a full time member, Scott Hull commented on the addition of Adam:
“Tracking the drums happened this week and I'm honestly amazed at how Adam stepped up to the task of learning some challenging shit outside of his standard comfort zone. He came into the studio ready to destroy and destroy he did. And in the haze of long studio hours he never settled for a bad take. He's a real soldier. Adam has helped breathe new life into the band and we feel like we are starting fresh. Everyone here is excited for people to check out the new jams.”
Additionally, PIG DESTROYER has been confirmed for the UK’s prestigious Damnation Festival this November with numerous other dates and festivals to be announced shortly.
Shitloads of grind news from Circle of Dead Children, Captain Cleanoff, Kill The Client, Beyond Terror Beyond Grace and loads more
Things happen. It's a scientific fact. Here are a collection of things that have allegedly happened (to be proven or disproven at a future point of time).
- Circle of Dead Children recorded their new full-length Psalm of the Grand Destroyer back in November 2008. Vocals were finally laid down last week; now the recording is to be mastered by Scott Hull, then released by Willowip Records.
- Beyond Terror Beyond Grace are finishing up recording vocals with Tim Carr at Studio 301 next week. Artwork is being worked on by someone called Rainsong, who has worked on designs for Nevermore, Jeff Loomis, All Shall Perish, Whitechapel, Aborted, Strapping Young Lad and The End. Not cheap I'm guessing. Apparently we can expect the album title and perhaps a tracklisting to soon follow.
- Captain Cleanoff have some clips up of their last show in Europe before they return home (in the Swiss Mountains of Death no less).
- 4 Dead have a new album coming up. FUCK YES! They record late October it would seem.
- Frank Rizzo are finally back in action with a new live track and rough demo track up on their MySpace.
- Grindhead Records has re-released One Step Beyond's Life Imitates Art. Killer fucked up Macabre styled death metal meets slap bass and psychedelia. Fucking whack stuff. Download a track.
- Buckshot Facelift finally have copies of their 2nd full length Anchors of the Armless Gods on vinyl.
Grind and/or die.
I saw this album lying on the top of new Grindhead Records arrivals the other day. The cover art was immediately intriguing, and a far step away from most of the album cover art we see coming through our distro. The digipak is a nice little package with a very well executed art concept, depicting an iceberg against dark, cold, desolate backdrop (apparently taken from "The Last Iceberg" series by Camille Seaman for anyone who'd like to check it out).
Now, I didn't have high hopes for this album, but my curiosity had piqued. I thought I might give the CD a few songs to establish itself, and if it hadn't grabbed me by then, then straight back to the pile with it.
The verdict after a few tracks? Atka kick fucking ass! Their side of the split is a relentless non-linear onslaught of metallic technical grindcore. The songs are intelligently structured for maximum chaotic effect with the occasion bit of breathing room given through a mid-paced section. I love the fact that riffs seem to be pulled from a vast pool of extreme metal genres. At any one moment there could be a burst of a frantic black metal passage, or an awkward 'mathcore' figure that'll have your brain crying out in incomprhension.
In the 13 or so minutes Atka are given on the split CD, nothing seems predictable. I could never anticipate the direction a song would go, which is definitely one of my most cherished aspects of grindcore: it's unrelenting chaos. This is definitely a band that keeps you on your toes. The vocals are a reasonably dynamic mix of bellowed gutturals, some shrieking highs, a more hardcore/powerviolence mid range, a handful of vocal 'nosies' and even some sparse spoken word.
A fucking great effort by this Germanic five-piece who come across as some kind of almalgamated bastard son of Discordance Axis, Pig Destroyer, Burnt By The Sun, Aborted, Cephalic Carnage and Botch. In a period where it takes a lot for any extreme metal or grindcore to really make an impact, these guys have really impressed me. They also get bonus point for uploading their new full 3" MCD for download on their MySpace page. Nice pick up there, Ecocentric Records.
Next comes Shimetsu.
Shimetsu are one of those typical boring technical death metal bands. You know the ones; the type of dudes who spend their entire lives only learning how to sweep pick and never actually given thought to how to structure a memorable song or write a memorable riffs. Almost all of the riffs Shimetsu play blend into an impalpable gray of mediocrity, slotting nicely into the exact structure of a thousand genre-riffs before them.
The songs are very blandly structured. No song has any real discernible flow and each seem to have repeated stop-start passages followed by fairly sloppily played, over-technical riffs. It is quite clear that Shimetsu are trying their hardest to play above their abilities - an act they do not pull off well.
In terms of production sound is pretty weak, consisting of a pretty standard scooped guitar tone, a terrible triggered drum kit which I would swear sounds programmed if the beats weren't so poorly played and riddled with mistakes, and your standard death metal frontman grunts. The band swears that there's a bassist in the band, but I could not hear one bass line for the life of me. The linear notes mention this album was mastered by Scott Hull. Hmm.
I'm probably being a little too harsh, but the band simply offers me nothing to enjoy. This is generic, by-the-books technical death metal. If you want to hear another hamfisted Misery Index / Necrophagist clone (who both suck too by the way) then knock yourself out. I don't really have any interest in it.
Definitely worth grabbing for the Atka tracks. I've got to go scout those guys out. The album will (eventually) be available on Grindhead Records once we launch our new estore.
I encountered Whourkr's first release Naat totally by chance during 2008 while searching for music that sounded slightly off-beat, experimental or different. When I saw the description of 'glitched gore/grinding breakcore' I couldn't resist.
Naat was definitely cool for a different take on some very unrelated genres, but the concept felt unfinished. There were definitely a few stand out moments; including a killer breakdown on the first track compromised entirely out of glitched guitar sounds, but overall it felt like the concept could be taken further and executed more cohesively.
Now this might seem like a fairly negative things to say, but it shouldn't be taken like that. Melding genres so extremely far apart is anything but simple, which I assume is why we have over 50,000 brutal death metal bands ripping off Goratory rather than anyone creating their own fucking music. France's Whourkr have a very unique take on extreme music, and they should definitely be respected for that. While Naat might not be perfect, it is still on a far higher rotation than say Cryptopsy's shitheap of a latest offering.
With Concrete, Whourkr have expanded their sound immensely. They draw upon a far greater range of genre elements than ever before. Perhaps coolest of all is that the gore/grind influence is quite diminished. Instead of all songs being built from gore/grind base with elements added on top, all the genres Whourkr toy with are given more prominence. They blend The Bezerker styled 'hardcore' influences (I fucking hate The Bezerker) with brutal death metal, gore grind, various forms of black metal, breakcore (atmospheric/folkish), glitchcore and - perhaps inevitably - elements of Fantomas.
The Fantomas influence is especially obvious in the style of the new vocalist, who I doubt has tried to hide his affection for Mike Patton. While the original vocalist Öxxö Xööx layed down a series of guttural death growls which limited the appeal of the music, the new vocalist gladly experiments with a range of shrieks, glitched yells, yelps and a whole series of other techniques. I also like the fact that Whourkr don't fall into the same mistakes those boring-as-fuck The Bezerker make - namely having poorly sampled glitched snare rolls prominent in the mix. There are few things worse than a poorly sampled snare roll constantly driving itself into your skull.
The massive expansion of sound are evident in songs like Santo, which starts with something of a folkish acoustic black metal piece, then evolves into a doomish piece before finally finishing with a very nice piano bit. Or on Cera Pollutera, with it's clean techy opening riff which is then quickly glitched.
Slaagt opens with a bit of a groovy gore riff, before once more being glitched into oblivion, mixing into a punishing brutal death metal sequence which drops out to leave a pure breakcore drum beat followed by a hauntingly gloomy vocal piece backed by a piano. The black metal influence continues with a very atmospheric black metal section backed by keyboards. This section is then repeated with some very cool sounding breakcore drumming (breakcore over black metal!??!!), a shrieking Fantomas vocal interlude until finally we are blasted into oblivion and left with an echoing scream and electronic noises as a closer. Awesome!
This album is a fairly large step forward and very impressive in terms of the amount of experimentation with fusing different styles and techniques. However, I feel that Whourkr are still yet to put their vision together cohesively. Everything still feels just a little disjointed. Whourkr may have not totally realised their potential, but this is still a fucking great album the duo should be congratulated for. If you like electronic music vs. metal type music - like the shitty The Bezerker or the much cooler Ladyscraper - then waste no time in checking these guys out. Infact, everyone should be forced to listen to this album - especially you boring death metal assholes who feel threatened when you hear anything but the same song rehashed for the billionth time.
Much respect to Crucial Blast for picking these guys up. They are a perfect fit for the label who has brought us fantastically varied music from the likes of Genghis Tron, Weedeater, Monarch, Grey Daturas, Noism and Scott Hull. I'm sure there is much more to be discovered within their catalog.
Wow, Relapse Records sure dont fuck around with their reissues. Check em out along with these upcoming releases.
Bloodduster - Str8outtanorthcore, Cunt & Fisting the Dead / Yeest:
Catch some of the new Relapse reissues of Bloodduster's classic albums; Cunt, Str8outtanorthcore (my favourite) and Fisting The Dead/Yeest. All reissues come with sexy new artwork (from Glennos - check out his site) and shitloads of bonus tracks - so dont miss out.
Cephalic Carnage - Conforming to Abnormality REISSUE:
Cephalic Carnage's 2nd full length album has been reissued on Relapse in both CD and Vinyl form. Definitely one to pick up; Cephalic Carnage's technical, THC-soaked, jazz-tinged bud blasting is something to behold. Remixed, remastered and repackaged with 21 bonus tracks.
Coldworker - Rotten Paradise:
Well, here comes the Swedish death metal machine Coldworker's second full length album. The first album was a little underwhelming with artificially clean and polished production coupled with fairly monotonous songs that tended to drag a little on the long side. Lets see if this one is any better - Relapse never shies away from hyperbole, calling it "form the quintessential Swedish death metal album for a new century of extremity". It features Anders from Nasum - how bad could it be?
Enemy Soil - Casualties of Progress REISSUE:
Old school grindcore with heavy politically and socially progressive ideologies. Enemy Soil is grindcore in the purest sense; a reissue of a classic that many may never have heard.
Scott Hull - Requiem:
The first album from Scott Hull of Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Anal Cunt fame. I'm not sure what to expect with this album, and I'll definitely check it out out of curiosity. The press release says he "pathos of death, the burden of guilt, and the weight of consequence in all their stages" - alright if you say so...
Check em all out at www.relapse.com - they're all available for pre-order.