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Saturday, 26 June 2010

The Half Way Time is Nigh 2010

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It has reached that time of year when most musical blogs release a list of the top x albums of this half of the year. I certainly shall be joining in this biannual phenomenon, not just in order to conform to blogging etiquette, but also to spread the good word of albums that deserve a shot at the spotlight. The albums I will list are not in order of greatness just merely in which order I remember and wish to present them.

Fleshrot - Traumatic Reconfiguration
I must stress there is no local scene or home town bias here with these guys, they just know how to play Brutal Death Metal how I like it. Any of you know the film genre Grindhouse? (just coincide), well in said genre traditional filming elements are replaced with those of violence and sex scenes, well this also true for the Brutal Death Metal. Traditional death metal elements tend to be replaced with all manner of shit to create a more aggressive and tyrannical sound, and generally it has no appeal to me. Luckily Fleshrot in their album Traumatic Reconfiguration go back to the basics of the genre and from there add in levels of blood curdling brutality.  This is the way Brutal Death Metal was meant to be played and I hope more bands see the err of their ways.

Spineless Fuckers - It is Just a Real One
Mental is a good way to describe how these Czech Grinders approach the genre. The alleged saying of the alleged New World Order that "from chaos there is order" holds true in this album, it is just a frantic mess of various instruments and vocals that all come together to make some weird sort of noise we like to call music.Morbid Satire is what the Czechs do best in the world of theatre and this seems to have transposed into this album too alongside Czech excerpts from films and cello based Czech Classical Music. Originality is something these guys do well, prepare to have the rules of music broken.

Abscess - Dawn of Inhumanity
Many critics have a general loathing of this album, well luckily for Abscess I love this release.A predominant feel of Crust Punk in the style of Skaven and strong metal presence come together in a eerie form that give Abscess and unique and creepy sound. Reminds me alot in essence of the song Seasons in the Abyss by Slayer, but with a more dark and atmospheric nature. A nice mix of sections of horror with despair to a section or song of aggression. The aggression lacks the kick that many bands opt for and additionally it lacks a vibrancy of energy , but it is these attributes that make this release fresh and give it this unconventional slayerised crust punk early death metal.

Utopium - Conceptive Prescience
I used to hold the belief that Portugal was one of the countries where Grindcore was a non-entity, luckily for me Utopium have dispelled such a
myth from my mind, they play flawlessly great Grindcore and the best part of it is that you can have it for free here. Featuring a tribute to Nasum, these grinders play a mixture of old and new Grindcore in the vein of Phobia and have a pure refined sound which is played with high precision and professionalism. These guys are certainly should stay on our radars, I am expecting amazing things from them.

Moncho Cabrera - Demo 2010
For a long time it may of seemed that perhaps indeed punk was a rotting corpse, although as Grind fans we must never forget the role of Punk in creating the genre. Of the bands that had a great input is crazy J-Punkers S.O.B.  and this is exact;y what Moncho Cabrera sound like, oddly enough on their myspace they make no mention of S.O.B as an influence. I will be honest this album has nothing special nor is it amazing, it is just nice to hear decent punky thrashy sound again but from the present not 20-30 years old. For fans of S.O.B this is a must have.

Sayyadina - The Great Northern Revisisted
There is an ongoing debate in my head whether Sayyadina are more Crust or more Grind, but one thing there is no debate about is that Sayyadina  are good. These guys take their own stance on Grindcore and Crust drawing from the ethos of Nasum, despite many similarities between Nasum and Sayyadina, Sayyadina do there own thing which give them a nice Independent sound.

Hayaino Daisuki - Invincible Gate Mind Of The Infernal Hell

Jon Chang, need I say more.

Misery Index - Heirs to the Thievery
Misery Index  never cease to impress me and Heirs to the Theivery was no exception. With spectacular drumming, nice riffing and solos, and a vocals hell bent on political criticism. Unlike most bands that focus on Racism, Dictatorships or any other gross exaggeration of their very democratic system, Misery Index focus on economic matters, making a nice break from the over top politic haters. Overall a fabulous release perhaps with a tad of Marxism, which gives it that edge.

Exhale - Blind
Nice raspy Death Grind that is full of energy and aggression. These Swedish grinders play a fast and very heavy sound with all the pros and with non of the cons. They make recognisable distinctions between songs giving each song a feeling of freshness and uniqueness, a brilliant album overall.

Aborted - Coronary Reconstruction
I have loved Aborted for a very long time now, and love their aesthetic Gore-grinding theme but musical brutal death metal approach. Coronary Reconstruction sticks to the formula they do well, with an approach of a more conventional heavy sound  with a few solos and technical moments thrown in, they have decided to bin the approach of Strychine 213 and stick to what was good. Perhaps we can see a reincarnation of Goremageddon soon!

Infanticide - From Our Cold Dead Hands
Well Sweden certainly know how to write good music, this is their 3rd appearance so far in  this list. Infanticide remind a lot of a more modern version of Terrorizer, the 25 minute tornado will keep you bound to your seat not just in awe, but due to a fear that one of those audio waves emanating from your speakers may actually eviscerate you the moment you get up. So remember to take a piss before you put this on.

Agathocles - Peel Sessions 1997
 I don't know how well John Peel's legacy is on the continent or across the Atlantic, but in the U.K he is pretty much a saint among metal heads and Grindcore fanatics across the board. Well the first thing about this release is that it taught me how to actually say the name Agathocles  correctly, I am sure all of you too have been pronouncing it wrong prior to hearing it, and for those of you who haven't heard this will want to get it now just on the strength on finding out what is the correct way to pronounce the name. This compilation is a nice blast from the past and is another brilliant release by these prolific material releasers.

Defeatist - Sixth Extinction
These New Yorkers certainly know how to play a soundtrack to a possible sixth extinction, with a combo of strings, percussion and sickening vocals you can expect all manner of life to wither around your speakers yourself included. For those who wish not to take part in the demise of man, do not play this.

So there we have it my 13 favourite releases of the year so far, there probably is ones I may of preferred more , but I cant judge on what I haven't heard, any recommendations from you guys? 4 bands from the U.S and 3 from Sweden, so congrats to all you who pledge allegiance to the flag.
Grind Out