Dirge, possibly holds the title of the most looked forward to Grindcore release ever, period, even more so than the rumoured debut release of a super Grindcore band featuring the Pope, Trevor McDonald and Conan the Barbarian. Literally when Dirge was released, every rss feed and every tweet before my eyes all stated the same two things: a) DIRGE HAS BEEN RELEASED OMG! b) OMG DIRGE IS AMAZING! So expanding on conjecture b, here is my following review.
I hardly feel words are sufficiently powerful enough to describe in depth the raw explosive feel that Dirge offers in its inhumane rampage of powerviolence on speed approach to grindcore. If you thought you knew bands who played fast, think again, I am pretty sure that Dirge, laps your fastest track a few times over as a warm up run, before it then proceeds to tear it to shreds with its superior grind bashing fury.
Dirge is basically what would happen if you mixed a heavy influx of Insect Warfare's torrential top heavy grind with the screaming frantic uzi rampage of Hellnation, spiced up a tad with a small vibe of Magrudergrind. The Grindcore formula of Abuse has become heavily distorted with much weight and emphasis on an excessive spewing of Powerviolence, perhaps best described by the band themselves with the track Overpowered Violence, with the fantastic execution and dynamic of Abuse being the only keepsake. In fact I am pretty sure Wormrot's song naming policy on Dirge, is part inspired as a descriptive title to its upscale brutality, Meteor to the Face and Ferocious Bombardment are all words I would of used to describe this release, had Wormrot not beaten me to the chase!
Fuck traditional song development, and threading rhythmic sectors, interloping verses etc This is grind, the way it was meant to be! Wormrot chuck at your face a furious cacophony composed off hundreds of fast paced riffs and endless beats, all the whilst screams of primitive emotion are belted out throughout, as for what is stopping the release from tearing apart the space time continuum located around your speakers, certainly stumps me.
The extensive drum work of Fitri's dexterous bash and smash rampage is worthy of grindcore commendation giving that barbaric ferocity a sophisticated demeanour that gives the tried and tested blast beats a more fruitful yield to the tradtional bang bang bang approach employed by many a band. While Rasyid jumps from one crushing punk oozing riff to another in quick succession, with Arifs hell bent screaming in probably the most passionate masculine screaming I have ever heard. Imagine the final theartre scene of Godfather 3, and replace all that sadness with pure Ichor and aggression, double its power and you probably are somewhere just shy of understanding the blistering fury that is vehemently yelled out at sensory shattering proportions. How that man is able to talk or not induce a heart attack as he screams, is beyond me.
Punching in just over 18 minutes across 25 slices of over the top powerviolency grind, Earache have really put out a release worthy of being equal to their early back catalogue, and perhaps this amazing piece of Grindcore will be a wake up call, and pave the way for a reconnection between the genre defining label and its former disenfranchised adherents.
However I all know what you really came to read this review for, in fact all you have already heard Dirge, and you search something specific amongst this review, you search for an answer you are not quite sure yourself and are looking for someone man enough to take up the mantle and answer it, and that something is "Does this trump Abuse?" Quite simply personally I feel it doesn't. Call me a drunkard, blasphemer, or claim I am suffering from a hallucinatory state from listening to Dirge too often, if that softens the blow for you, but either way personally I prefer Abuse. Not that this release is far from Abuse, its right up there in the kick ass factor infintiy quadrant, but I feel Abuse just had a sort of better dynamic going for it, this despite all the intense craftsmanship seems very rushed and not thought out 100%. However I do feel it perhaps not just to compare the two, each play on very different styles, this one being a more rapid contortion of irksome punk orientated noise, and abuse being a more progressive flow of colossal proportions.
Dirge regardless of if you prefer it to Abuse or not is undoubtedly a fantastic release, that offers an intensely amazing amount of quality that many a great grind band, hardly achieve in their lifetime. The galloping drums, raw passionate yells and lightspeed riffs all come together fantastically well in establishing some of the most fast and heavy grind there is on the market, so brace yourselves lads and ladettes, your second serving of Abuse is here, and this little bastard doesnt like to play nice!