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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Cogito ergo sum (thedowngoing, I Am Become, 2010)

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Well this has certainly been a eventful last few days for this blog, this time round an artist from the land of Oz, namely Sydney called by the feared locals as thedowngoing have asked me to upload their material.  This duo play a angry Grindcore blasphemy, recorded by Brain Studios the same people who recorded The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon and Genghis Tron. Sadly I can't review them at the moment, as revision prevails, so I will give you their description.

thedowngoing is a 2-piece grind band formed in Sydney, Australia, comprised of Mathias Huxley (vocals, strings, talking feet) and
Andrew "Muzz" Murray (drums).

The debut CD "i am become" was recorded at the Brain Studios Surry Hills and mastered by Alan Douches (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon, Genghis Tron) at West West Side Music New York, and features 13 tracks of godless-grind.

thedowngoing's aural assault is driven by Huxley's thick, crusty guitar tone, creating a never-ending barrage of riffs, complimented by Murray's frantic drumming, while dark samples offer a rare insight into the chaos as Huxley's caustic vocals spew through the speakers, sitting above the mix.
For fans of Insect Warfare, Agents of Abhorrence, Pig Destroyer, Cellgraft and Kill A Celebrity.

mediafire link includes mp3s @ 320 kbps, id tags & packaging photos in a .rar file.

For More information:

Artist: thedowngoing
Album: i am become
Year: 2010
Country: Australia
Genre: Grindcore

Track Listing:
01 iambecome
02 thedenial
03 utterrepulsion
04 wwmjd?
05 cutinhalf
06 sunkendeep
07 dripping
08 29:23
09 emptycircuit
10 thusspoke
11 part II
12 motionless
13 stonebaby

Running time: 15:32

Kind Regards

mathias Huxley


Monday, 24 May 2010

Sonitus Urbs by the Loud Voices of the People

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Vox Pupoli Records asked me to put a download link for their compilation known as Noize City on my blog and I pretty chuffed that they wished to use my Blog to distribute their compilation CD. True to my word I have done so through this post and this will also make the news section to the right of this post. I won't be reviewing this now, but might do so in the future; revision is more important at the moment. So it pretty much is crazy brutal weird electronica music from what I can tell so far, it certainly unique to my ears haven't heard anything like it before. So feel free to check em out and let me know what you think of them, at the end of the day feedback be it negative or positive, is important.


Saturday, 22 May 2010

Bez Miłosierdzie (Squash Bowels, No Mercy, 2004)

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On the strength of Grindvirus (reviewed here), I decided to hunt down some earlier releases by Goregrinding Mad Poles Squash Bowels, and I managed to get myself a copy of No Mercy, and pretty much have been listening to it intermittently between Hayaino Daisuki and Hacavitz for the this week, I then decided to review this over the other two, although expect them to make an appearance at some point on this Blog. Anyway I wanted to flex my Polish linguistic knowledge and keep brain activity to a minimum,so I opted as the title of this post to just translate No Mercy into Polish, which pretty much is Bez Miłosierdzie, there you go you learn something new every day.
 As you know I hate Goregrind that focuses more on the Gore than the music, and Squash Bowels do it just right, by putting the music first and Gore is the by-product of the music. Now if I where to say that it is more Gorey with rhythm than Reeks of Putrefaction (I know there are some better Goregrind release but first to spring to mind), you may very well ask yourself how? well I will tell you, at times it actually sounds like some fluid sloshing around or other bodily repugnant in habeus condition; this achieved through the sickening vocals and occasionally through the guitar (God knows how!), the drum is there to give it that constant pulsating which set the tempo and also add to the immersion of being in the body of some rabid dying old man.
The vocals aside from the gurgling guttural bellows, also includes a high pitched little fellow discharging  a wide use of vile and gore filled verses. The guttural screaming instead of his verses is just as barbarous and absolute killer, imagine the birth of some demonic creature and you will get the idea.  The drums feature blast beats every so often but generally short-lived and infrequent, but with no exception the drumming is always perfect for what the other musicians are doing. The bass is recognisable at times, however after playing the album many times over you realise the bass is always there and adds that layer of groove and harshness into the songs.
The guitars like their 2009 release, are not fast with a few exceptions, but super catchy,Although the guitaring is much faster than Grind Virus in general, I was humming them to myself on the way to uni  due to their insane catchability. Like aforementioned the chords and riffs are pretty tight, they void from the guitarist doing any technical or show off stuff and just sticks to writing what best fits the song, I quite admire the combo of catchy riffs whilst the vox are vomiting forth, with the infrequent blast beat, it makes this release stand out from other Goregrind bands.
If you guys like Grind Virus then this is pretty much a must have, it has less groove and more speed and is by far one of the best Goregrind releases put out there. Their innovation is matched equally with their professional ability to play their instruments well, which in turn has earnt No Mercy a place in my regularly listened to spot.
Rating 90/100

P.S Interview with Salvage the Flesh will be up soon and will be on a static page called Interviews, just working out how to do the podcast malarkey


Saturday, 15 May 2010

Trekkie Grind?(Gigantic Brain, World 2009)

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Space and Science Fiction are topics that have been blurred in the every day hayday of media and science frenzy of the last and current centuries, so much so that we have become somewhat desensitised to it, and it stays very much in the periphery of our mundane lives. However the topic is one that if we payed a bit more attention to, will fill us with fascination and intrigue. One such artist to do so was Gigantic Brain, originating not from Area 51 but Virginia this innovator of music collides the realm of sci-fi into  a dark void we like to call music.
Starting off in the year of the discovery of Sedna  and the discovery of water on Mars (2004), Gigantic Brain have created some quasi-cybergrind which has brought a wave of originality in the Grindcore genre. In addition to its contribution to shifting the defining borders of the Genre, it has influenced Short-Lived Grinding legend Parlamentarisk Sodomi, to set up his own attempt at it: Psudoku although I doubt Psudoku captures the Universe theme as much as he intended.However Gigantic Brain certainly does, this one man and machine really lives up to his promise to take Grindcore to the Stars.
Those of you who have heard Gigantic Brains earlier stuff, know how well he encapsulates a Cyber Grind, with intense machine blast beats and that evil eeriness which has become his trademark. This album takes a more peaceful approach, I don't even know if this release falls under the stigmatised title of Grindcore, but whatever category you wish to place this release under will not negate the fact that this is one hell of a release. I see some the tracks as a computerised version of slow and calming classical music which features a constant atmospheric background that gives it that "Space" feel to it. Occasionally he breaks away from this formula and brings in a ferocious and short lived Grinding track that  are greatly similar to his previous tracks on prior releases. 17 tracks of ambient cybergrind totalling a total just short of 33 minutes. Unlike most Grindcore bands but similar to many ambient artists he uses the keyboards predominantly; slow but profound. The stylistic and atmospheric attributes of this album are by far unique, and it would seem that his experimentation has payed off, he still retains the outer space theme, but has opted instead of using a hard line aggressive approach to polarise this and take things the calmer route, and he has done so without sacrificing the space theme. Many tracks feature no vocals and use the emotive musicianship to give it predominantly the calming aura or the bellowing horrors of it. When vocals do appear they are greatly varied each track has a different alien so to speak belching, screaming or murmuring.
I am in bewilderment as to how you can really capture the essence of the universe into musical form, simultaneously I am in awe in the fact that Gigantic Brain have done so with such high quality not just on this release but every other release to date. With a combination of keyboards, electronic drums, computerised sounds, infrequent guitarist and estranged vocals, Gigantic Brain at no point falter in producing such an Amazing sound.
For the die-hard Grindcore fans, this may be seen as a bail out by Gigantic Brain by producing sissy music. I do not belong to this school of thought, this release does not lack in musicianship and takes a break often from its more peaceful approach to unleash a tornado of some of the heaviest and finest Grindcore, Gigantic Brain proves he can do melody alongside brutality and I believe this is what he wanted to encapsulate in this album. Perhaps World is a musical metaphor for what people will observe on our world, a companionship of peace and brutality.
Rating 92/100

End Note: I will be posting an Interview I did last week on here soon, In the process of removing the background music, so don't worry Salvage the Flesh I haven't forgotten or opted against putting it up, just trying to make it audio-able.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Of Radiation and Coffins (Repulsion, Horrified, 1989)

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In a totally unprecedented move, which may cause panic and possibly a mob outside my house, I am going to review one of the Holy Grails of the Grindcore world: Repulsion, Horrified. Some may say I am not worthy to carry out such a task, others may say my words will do no justice to this infallible masterpiece, and that by doing so I disturb the natural order of things. I say to such people may you suffer "pestilent decay" with "maggots in your coffin" "six feet under", as a result of "Radiation Sickness". If you don't get why I have "" those words, then you are not worthy to read my Z list blog, until you have heard everything by Repulsion 100 times.
This album has been a fundamental feature in defining Grindcore, not only in terms of music but aesthetics. The daunting radioactive skull has been an instantly recognizable trade mark(See GrindandPunishment's take on skulls in Grindcore here) in recognizing a Grindcore release, although outdated by modern day art work it has that air of nostalgia; watching zombie horror flix on betamax, hair styles which literally depleted the Ozone and American youth that could understand geography.
 Being a 20 year old Anglo-Polish UK citizen, I have never experienced nor lived through any of those things, however I like to think that I captured the essence of the 80's America through the eyes of Repulsion. Originally known as Genocide these Mad hatters from Michigan decided in 1986 that the status quo of Music was not good enough, so in 1986 they set about recording 3 demos known the most famous of which was known as Slaughter of the Innocent. It was in 1989 that Jeff Walker of non other than Carcass, got in contact with these defunct God's of Grind and asked if his also now defunct record label Necrosis Records which was a sub company of Earache Records could release and mix the infamous, Slaughter of the Innocent demo. The end product is one of the wonders of the Grindcore world: Horrified.

I own the 2006 remastered edition, which features 2 discs and covers to my knowledge all their demo material, however on this disc is nice little qoute “ Repulsion is the band that introduced the world to insane blasting drums, bone-jarring distorted bass, and the most vile lyrics imaginable” although each point is debatable, they were certainly the first to put all together and by a long shot the most influential. I don't think you can come across one good Grindcore band or post 80's death metal band who has not in his youth or grinding days been swayed by the rabid influence of Repulsion.
It is difficult to say whether or not this release is Grindcore or not. It certainly is one of the founding fathers of Grindcore, and created many of the inherent traits which give Grindcore its distinct noise and attitude. However this release features a constant of thrashy twangs, no one can deny these raised the bar in Music and went well beyond the confines of what was music, however I can't help but feel that for all their great innovation, one of their feet is stuck in thrash metal. We are now left in a peculiar state of affairs, we can't classify this as thrash it is far too heavy and savage for thrash, however we can't classify it as pure Grindcore, as it literally is one step away from Grindcore, mind you I am unaware what that step is, but I feel it is not quite a Grindcore release. So what do we do to classify such a thing, we do what every intelligent person does when he can't be bothered to delve deeper, we stick a prefix to it so we now have Proto-Grind.And what a lovely thing it is.

 From the fuzzy distorted guitars, to the fast frantic drumming, raw vocals this is everything we love in our releases. With song titles that are influenced by B list but loveable zombie flicks, which in turned have influenced the grindcore massess. Imagine the thematics and ideals of the Misfits, but crank up the aggression, horridness, speed and heaviness from level 1 to level 11(uncanny Spinal Tap reference).
The guitars have that gritty addictive tune to them, that are easily recognised, the first track starts of with a thrashing intro to beat into a tidal wave of vile Grindcore, as most metal bands they are fond of their solos but compress the aggressive solos into at maximum of a dozen seconds, but keep each one unique but maintaining the grotesqueness and violent tempo.
The drumming is fast and manic, in a non stop blitzkrieg blast beat they cross the best of thrash and grindcore, to create a catchy drumbeat which has a heavy emphasis on the kick drum, giving it that coffin slamming noise we love to hear. The bass is fuzzy that brings back memories of an Evil Dead Chainsaw, which I had to pleasure of re-watching today. Evil Dead 2 followed by Repulsion, with copious amounts of alcohol during both is certainly the lifestyle I am sure these guys lived and wanted us to. The vocals belt out all manner of horror and gore, they are rough as hell and true to early death metal outfits, their harshness and raw cruelty is unmatched, and the same goes for the lyrics.
Put these ingredients alongside the Necronomicon, we have possibly the most profound release ever. Repulsion's influence is unparalleled, and this holds true with the album as well, these are the innovators, the Da Vinci's and Hades of our monotonous drone of our every day life's.
Rating 96/100


Saturday, 1 May 2010

Must.Make.Watches! and Kill People (Watchmaker, Kill.Fucking.Everyone, 2003)

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Watchmaker is angry Music for angry people, it is the sort of music that is fueled by hatred and vomits forth even more hatred. Lurking in the depths of Boston, this jigsaw of thrash, black, death metals and Grindcore have really captured the essence of extreme metal, and pushed it further into the dark end of the musical spectrum.
To those of you who have seen Event Horizon (if you haven't check it out ASAP!, warning spoiler alert), there is one important part of the plot they left out: the Event Horizon brought back from hell this album.
Before I even touch on the canorous side of this release let us take a little verbal appreciation of the album art itself. The design looks impressive, the skulls on the guns are what you notice straight away, and they look good, and after staring for a little longer you notice that those circles are in fact pentagrams, from what you thought might of been a death metal or Grindcore release has subtly incorporated a stereotypical aesthetic feature from black metal. Then you notice the cloud on the top right, and you think to yourself "hang on is that a cloud or is that someone who has smudged blood?" couple that with the barbed wire, and you have an album art which is fully immersive, and already sets the scene for the odium of audio catalepsy that will take place.

 I personally hard to pinpoint an accurate description, on this album, and even though I have done a lot looking on the interwebs, and it seems to have confused me even more than I was to start off with. So I will try to detangle this mess, however I am still very much an amateur so please forgive my short comings. I would classify this as  the spirit and essence of Reign in Blood, however with more energy. Alongside, thrashers Slayer, there is also fellow thrashers Kreator element in the drumming and guitaring, more 90's than 80's Kreator.
 Infused with thrash metal, is a raw black metal atmosphere in the form of vocals and occasional riffing, and lastly ,but not least a fundamental musical architecture of death metal. Somehow or other all this create some furious and ferocious Grindcore.
On the Internet this release has been assigned by fans as a really heavy release, and let me tell you the words do no justice in describing how true it really is. The Percussion is really in the foreground, and along with the screaming are the main battering ram to the ear drums. Juxtaposing the intensely fast and well co-ordinated drumming, with the long high pitched screaming adds to this hellbent clash of man and music. To those not accustomed to Metal, or the less audio observant it may sound like a incomprehensible mess, but in the background is quite impressive riffing  and shredding, much akin to thrash metal and some older death metal. At some parts the strings to step up to the challenge and enter the foreground, and leave with as much grace as they entered. This I personally can't decipher the husky black metal styled vocals except for the occasional "I will kill you!", put all these instrumental and vocal elements together and you get yourself one hateful release. The production value is not the best, but nor is it shit, however I think it really adds another element to this monstrosity of a release.

This album is an absolute ingenious machination, full of demonic and infernal music, this release goes well beyond a good release. By pooling together the very essence in each sub-genre and still making the music sound as good as their source, is a mammoth of a task, yet Watchmaker succeed at doing so, and pull it off to a perfect Magnum Opus. A well deserved pat on the back.
Grind Out
Rating 90/100

Side Note: Sorry for the long wait between posting and general decline in quality and length of posts, education takes priority at the moment. Over the next 4 weeks my posting will be infrequent, however once they are gone, I will be back in full swing. Also I will hopefully be bringing another author to this Blog in the next few weeks, he is rooted in NWOBHM, but does like some of his Grindcore and Death metal. Hopefully his English Degree will compliment his passion for music well, and that he will be a good addition to this Blog. 
Cheers for reading