Tag Archives: Grindcore

Gutted- Martyr Creation

I’m admittedly late to the game in discovering Hungary’s technical death/grind outfit, Gutted but after seeing them destroy at Las Vegas Deathfest, I had to say something.  Their energy live blew me away so I found it fit to give them money and procure a CD.  I’m glad I did.  Martyr Creation is bludgeoning from beginning to end.

The CD starts with a dramatic intro entitled “Chaos of the Beginning”.  The remainder of the LP seems to follow the trajectory of a concept album based on the chaotic nature of creation itself.  “Cosmos of Humans” punches listeners in the face immediately following the slow build up of the intro and this energy continues throughout the album.  The sound on Martyr Creation seems to embody a sort of controlled chaos.  Tangible yet entirely insane, in a good way.

The album is heavy in a way that it forces listeners to take notice.  Technical elements are tasteful, however, and not difficult to digest or in any way distracting from the flow of the album.  The leads are prominently pushed to the forefront in production.  They maintain a melodic element while never losing sight of the chaotic theme of the band’s sound.  I really give Gutted credit for their ability to write technical riffs and leads without losing the emotional aspect in the process.  So few technical bands are able to achieve this.  The result is an LP that induces self-administered whiplash.

For the most part, Martyr Creation blast off into an endless fury of speed, energy, and blasts from beginning to end, in true grind fashion, but tracks like “Deeper than Hell” deviate a bit from the formula with a short break into a clip of spooky background noises and creepy, Children of the Corn like echoes.  This is the heart of the band’s originality.  Sándor Hajnali’s growls complement the fury of Gutted’s sound perfectly and the production is good in the sense that you can hear every instrument without losing the rawness of the band’s death/grind style.

My only complaint would be that, in some ways, the tracks seemed to meld together with one track indistinguishable from the next.  Although there were moments that stuck out.  The solo in “Fades Away” is utterly insane and the breakdown in “False Happiness” hits you harder than the belligerent fat dude in the pit.  Overall, this is a solid release from a band you should definitely be listening to if you’re not already.

8/10

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Acid Witch/Nunslaughter -Spooky

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Back in March of this year, Hell’s Headbangers unleashed yet another great addition to extensive, vinyl metal collections everywhere. An interesting mix of doom and classic death, the Nunslaughter and Acid Witch 7 inch split entitled “Spooky” is an off-color hymn to “stoners” everywhere.  The artwork hints at the tongue in cheek nature of the album.  Reminiscent of 1970’s Tales From the Crypt comic this album art is unique and eye catching.  The artwork, the sound, the feel of this split is definitively “gitchy” and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which makes it a great feel good listen, the kind of music perfect for blazing.

Acid Witch

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 Acid Witch capture the sounds of “spookiness” in the most befitting way on this 7 inch.  The opening track, Evil, begins with eerie sounding keyboards and has a sort of muted melodiousness that continues throughout the track, only to be broken up with Shagrat’s gloriously repugnant vocals and Mike Tuff’s classic riffing.  Listening to Evil is like hearing a whisper in a haunted house.  The keyboards continue throughout the track, organically giving Evil that sort of fun creepiness Rob Zombie’s is always trying to achieve.

Fiends of Old, Acid Witch’s second contribution to Spooky, veers in a different direction.  Resurrecting, the classic sounds of Acid Bath and Eyehategod, Acid Witch has managed to make Fiends of Old sound unique by adding their signature keyboard sounds to this heavier doom track.  It is perhaps, Slasher Dave’s vocals that make this track most unique with his snotty, tongue in cheek tone.  Acid Witch would do well to make their tracks a bit longer.  Doom-heads intuitively crave 15 minute long songs. Acid Witch’s three minute long tracks are a bit of a disappointment.  I must hand it to Acid Witch though, their sound is original.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcwidhyzTt4

Nunslaughter

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 Nunslaughter’s addition to “Spooky” doesn’t veer far from the brutal, irreverent death metal Nunslaughter fans have grown accustomed to.  “A Sordid Past” and “Spooky Tales” sound very similar to pretty much every song on their classic 2003 release “Goat”.  Surprisingly, I wasn’t disappointed by this.  Nunslaughter gives their fans what they’re expecting, without alienating them with heavy experimentation.  This is one band that will never “go soft” or sell out.  You get what you get with Nunslaughter.  Simple, three minute, satirically satanic death metal.  Their contribution to “Spooky” is no exception.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AKcl_9e9Kw

You can order this awesome 7 inch directly from Hell Headbangers.  Fucking do it and support underground metal!  For now though, smoke up and enjoy some killer death and doom.  Happy Listening.  Hails!

Exhumed- Necrocracy

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There is something to be said about a band that still kills it after almost 25 years at it.  Californian death/grind aficionados recently unleashed their sixth full length album to date, on August 6, 2013, and they have brought with them more aggression than ever on this release.  Thrashy, technical, and adrenaline filled are just a few words that come to mind upon listening to “Necrocracy”.  This LP will pump you up, plain and simple.

Listeners are hooked within the first few seconds of the album, as it immediately breaks into a groove filled, thrashy riff on the track “Coins Upon Eyes”.  The brutality doesn’t end here however.  Throughout the album, Exhumed exhibits fun filled, death/thrash excellence.  These are the kind of songs that both incite a circle pit and get guitar nerds talking.  The solos we find here are clean, melodic and technical.  The choruses are anthemic and catchy and the riffs are creative and groove-filled.

The LP flows well, each track melding into the next, but remains exciting throughout, never sounding repetitive.  Clean, acoustic breaks, found on tracks like Dysmorphic, break this album up nicely.  Overall, Exhumed has managed to write an album filled with tracks that stick with you quite easily.  Tracks like “The Rotting”, bring me back to the moment I first heard the greatness that is death metal, with the classic down tuned guitars, appropriate blast bleats and melodic and passionate solos.

Exhumed has not only written an incredibly memorable album, they’ve outdone themselves a bit by including five bonus tracks at the end of the LP.  The bonus tracks don’t disappoint either.  From “The Beginning After The End” to “Go For The Throat”, these tracks rip hard as fuck.  Necrocracy is simply the must have album of this year.  Go out and fucking buy it!  For now though, join me in the circle pit with Exhumed.  Happy Listening.  Hails!

Fuck The Facts- An Interview With Mathieu Vilandré

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It can be difficult to find interesting or even listenable “grindcore”, these days amongst the hordes of noisy copycats littering an already overdone genre. Yet the Canadian quintet, Fuck The Facts have managed to spice things up within their sound, adding a refreshing feel to the genre, by infusing punk and hardcore elements into their sound, without going overboard and sounding cheesy or simplistic. Fuck The Facts has written an impressive body of work over the last 14 years, consisting of eight full length albums and innumerable EP’s, demos, splits and promos. The band’s latest release is entitled “AMER” and is the only EP written entirely in French. I personally like when bands write material in their native tongue. It adds an air of elitism to the music.

The EP slowly builds up, beginning with an intoxicating drumbeat and captivating guitar lick, then proceeds to punch the listener in the face. Intensity is the first word that come to mind when listening to AMER. Mel Mongeon’s vocals are the impetus behind the band’s ardent ferocity. Fuck The Facts has had a female vocalist since 2002 and has not once succumb to the gimmickry that can so easily bring. Mel is simply the best “wo-man” for the job. AMER is shining example of this. Her vocals tear your face off, while Mathieu’s drums crack your ribs. Even the “core” elements on this EP are never annoying, only appropriate. Think crossover, not “metalcore”. AMER flows very nicely and is a 20 minute ferocious assault on the listener. The tracks are short (most of them under three minutes) in typical grindcore/punk fashion. Those of you with ADD will be more than pleased with this release. As someone who wouldn’t normally listen to this genre of music, I can tell you it’s very well done. It is easy to see that Fuck The Facts is hardworking and has honed their sound over the years. Underworld spoke with the band’s drummer Mathieu Vilandre (better known as Vil) about the band, the new EP, touring, and their plans for the future. Here’s what he had to say.

Underworld: Tell the readers a little bit about Fuck The Facts.

Vil: We’re a 5 piece metal band based out of Ottawa, Canada and we’ve been going at it since 2001.

Underworld: Who are your biggest influences as a musician?

Vil: I always enjoyed classic composers like Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Chopin and Mozart. Then I got into progressive metal which was kind of an extension of those composers within the metal world; bands like Symphony X and Yngwie Malmsteen and his “neo-classicalism”. Then I realized I couldn’t really play music properly, so I settled for grindcore. Bands like Cryptopsy, Dying Fetus, Dahmer, Mesrine and Nasum, are what really got me into this shit.

Underworld: How has having a female vocalist impacted the band?

Vil: We get that question a lot. Within the band, it doesn’t change anything. It makes people talk a lot, that’s for sure, and Mel sometimes has to deal with creepy dudes. I would hope that it inspires other female artists to go ahead with their passion and give it all they’ve got.

Underworld: How have lineup changes affected the band?

Vil: It obviously made things a bit more complicated for us but at the same time it forced me and Topon to really focus on the music and our creative process. I’m glad we haven’t had to deal with this shit in years but it kind of helped make Disgorge Mexico what it is since we were only a 3 piece at the time. Thankfully we found Marc and Johnny about 5 years ago and it’s the most solid lineup we’ve ever had. When you have to spend weeks in a van with a bunch of assholes, you at least want some nice ones.

Underworld: In what ways do you think AMER differs from prior releases?

Vil: It’s our first release entirely in French and our first 10”. Everyone in the band really participated. Topon, Marc, Johnny and I all wrote songs for it and Mel took care of the lyrics. I also think it’s a pretty easy EP to listen to and that it flows particularly well. It’s a nice prelude to the new album.

Underworld: You guys were just on tour, what country do you enjoy playing most, Canada or USA?

Vil: I think we all have our preferences but the whole idea is that we like to be somewhere else sharing our music, wherever that may be. We’re from Canada so obviously the vibe here is different, we’ve known most of the people we work with for years. Usually the USA tended to be harder for us but our last tour went great and we had crazy fun. We really just want to play anywhere and meet awesome people.

Underworld: Any crazy tour stories?

Vil: Of course, but I always have a hard time remembering all that shit which makes sense since crazy tour stories pretty much always happen when you’re shitfaced. I’m the worst in the band for this, I never remember anything or it’s all inside jokes and “you had to be there”. I’m pretty much like C3PO, not much of a story teller. We just played in a squat in Spain that had no bathrooms in the venue, people were pissing and shitting outside. Then we noticed there was a river of piss and shit coming from the only toilet in the building on the 2nd floor, I’ve never smelled something so potent. Liters and liters of human shit under the Spanish sun. Tapas anyone?

Underworld: What is the next step for the band?

Vil: We have some regional shows coming up at the end of August in Ontario and then we’ll hit eastern Canada and Newfoundland for the first time. At the same time, we’ll work on finishing the new album, all the music is recorded and we are now focusing on the vocals and the extra shit. We are also completing another recording for two potential splits.

It looks like Fuck The Facts will be keeping very busy and we can expect more from them in the near future. Keep up with them on Facebook and check out the new EP on Bandcamp. Happy Listening. Hails!

Macabre- 20th Anniversary of Sinister Slaughter Mini Tour

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It has been twenty years since the legendary grindcore/murder metal, Chicago outfit, Macabre released their famed album, Sinister Slaughter, and the band decided to embark on a celebratory mini tour in its honor. Even though Macabre only played four shows on their tour, they still played Cleveland. They always play Cleveland. I am very lucky to live in a city so sublimely metal, a city where dark, graffiti ridden clubs mark every street corner and black clad drunkards and musicians are the daytime norm.

It was a “Sinister Sunday” indeed, when Corporate Death, Dennis the Menace and Nefarious invaded “The Birthplace of Rock and Roll”, for a very special, exclusive performance with local bands, Merciless Reign, Benighten Empire and Punching Moses. The crowd prepared for an evening of drinking, debauchery and mayhem.

The first band to hit the stage was Merciless Reign. I didn’t really know what to expect from this new Death/Thrash act. These guys were friends of mine, however, so I stood center stage, awaiting my first listen. What a surprise! What stood out about this band, was the sheer power emanating in their sound. Merciless Reign has a sound that requires none of the fancy, technical frills that have become so popular nowadays, with the influx of tech death on the rise. No sir, Merciless Reign has a presence and an intensity that will tear your fucking face off and they deliver this ambiance with simple, aggressive, thrash-y riffs, a bit of blackened repetition, blistering leads and paralyzing blast beats. Tracks like 17 Years of Hatred (Unleashed) are an epic and driving force to be reckoned with when played live. The energy that Merciless Reign achieves in their live performances is not quite met in their studio recordings, however. That is not to say that their demo is no good. It is very well done. But Merciless Reign bludgeons the hell out of a crowd live. I think this is because of the intensity that their drummer, Chris Krucker, packs into his live performances. He’s a wild man up there. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more from this band, both live and in the studio.

The next band up was Cleveland’s own Benighten Empire. Formed from the ashes of local deathcore outfit Evisceration and early Benighten Empire, which was formerly a Viking metal band, the current sound of the band is interesting, for lack of a better word. With the look of a deathcore band, the stage antics of a flashy, black metal band, the belligerent audience interactions of a thrash metal band, and a mix of everything from “core”, to the clean chanting of Viking metal, to the epic onslaught of black metal in their sound, Benighten Empire is utterly confused. I really wasn’t exactly sure what they were trying to accomplish onstage. It wasn’t as though they played badly, I simply wasn’t sure what they were playing or what they were doing with those upside crosses. It looked more like Justin Beiber participating in a black mass than Mayhem. Confusing, indeed. My friends and I have dubbed the band “Vikingcore”. However, Benighten Empire is not innovative enough to coin a new genre, their sound is simply immature. Given a few years, this band may hone their sound. They are still relatively new, forming only five years ago in 2008. Until then, I’d say, pass on this band.

Next up was hardcore punk act, Punching Moses. I don’t really have a whole lot to say about this band other than that they felt a little out of place up there. Maybe it’s just me, but I hate when hardcore bands open for metal bands. Stick to your genre and go play at the Spitfire. The Foundry is for metal. Not only that, but their sound quality onstage wasn’t great and the feel of the band was very common. There was really nothing special going on onstage with Punching Moses. If you’re going to call yourself punk rock, be punk rock and spit on the fucking audience or something. Upon further research, I found this band was voted “Most Un-listenable” by The Cleveland Scene. I wouldn’t go so far as to call this band un-listenable, boring is a better way to describe them. Listen for yourself.

Finally, the moment we’d all been waiting for had arrived. Macabre was set to hit the stage. Being perfectionists, Macabre took quite some time to set up. They were well worth the wait, however. Macabre certainly did celebrate Sinister Slaughter, playing songs they haven’t played in years, like Ted Bundy song, Mary Bell, Montreal Massacre and Night Stalker. As usual, vocalist Corporate Death prefaced each song with an eerie description of a serial killer’s horrific antics and exuded a larger than life stage presence. The sound quality was great and the songs were played to grindcore perfection. The audience was pumped, singing along to the songs and moshing like crazy. And even though Corporate Death, Dennis the Menace and Nefarious may have a larger than life presence onstage, they are incredibly down to earth guys off stage, interacting with fans, signing occasional autographs and watching the opening bands play. My high expectations of the evening were more than met, when Macabre finally hit the stage. If you missed them this time around, never fear. Macabre will be playing again in December for the Holiday of Horrors show with Cardiac Arrest, Witchbanger and Elbow Deep. Catch them in Chicago at Reggie’s Rock Club on 12/26/2013. Happy Listening. Hails!

Embalmination Tour 2013

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Embalmer has embarked on their western tour with Forged in Gore, and I (being a Cleveland native) was fortunate enough to catch the first show of the tour in their hometown with featured act, Rottrovore as well as local bands Blood Coven, Funeral Pyre and of course, Forged in Gore. The show was held at Lakewood’s only exclusively metal venue, The Foundry. The club is known for being one of many names (The HiFi, The Breakfast Club etc.) but has really come into it’s own as a spot for extreme metal. Slow to compete with punk/metal pub, Now That’s Class, The Foundry has respectfully become a haven for the underground in the past two years.

Blood Coven was the first band to hit the stage. They kicked off the evening nicely, playing classics, Warmaggedon and Feel My Steel, as well as showcasing their new track Age of Hell, to a lackluster crowd. Perhaps the highpoint of the set, for me at least, was when they played my request, Godless and Wicked.  The set was a bit sloppy in places, but not unforgivably so and the pure evil and aggression emanating from the stage, well made up for any slop in the performance.  Perhaps the only true disappointment was the utter disinterest, yielding from the crowd.  I can not, for the life of me, figure out why Blood Coven hasn’t become a greater force in the Cleveland metal scene.  Alas, I appeared to be the only person familiar with the material.  It was of no consequence to me however, I’ve been that person numerous times.  Blood Coven is truly a band worthy of recognition, so I give you Age of Hell!

Blood Coven’s ass kickery made way for black metal outfit Funeral Pyre. Funeral Pyre prefaced their first performance in twenty years with smells of acrid incense and arrant blackness. The crowd prepared for a celebration of evil. The enthusiasm of the crowd would only be met with sheer disappointment, as the set was an utter disaster. The drums were entirely too loud, drowning out sloppily played guitars.  Vocalist Brian Sekula, lazily fluttered about a goats skull as he shrieked classic tracks, Prosperity of Satan’s Reign and Celtic Sun.  Brief moments of harmony were quickly halted by clumsy mistakes, so attempts to get lost in the music or even discern one song from the next, were futile.  This band will definitely have to work together and practice more if they intend to gain a following in the underground live circuit.  Either that, or remain a studio band.

The show wouldn’t be a total bust, however, Forged in Gore hit the stage next to tear our faces off with the brutal death metal Cleveland has become known for.  Lightening fast riffing, blast beats and guttural “vokills” characterized the set.  Tongue in cheek requests for the band to slow down were met with a proverbial middle finger and even faster playing on the track Afterbirth Hors d’ oeuvre. Vocalist/bassist Brian Baxter engaged the crowd even further, inciting mosh pits and interacting with fans. Embalmer vocalist Paul Gorefiend performed guest vocals on a cover song to much approval from the crowd. Forged in Gore put on an incredible set. The band exudes professionalism and can most definitely anticipate a promising future.

We’d all anticipated Embalmer would go on next as initially Rottrevore was supposed to close the show but at that point in the evening everyone was inebriated and logistics mattered little.  Rottrovore went on next.  Excitement came over the crowd as Rottrevore set the perform their first live show in Cleveland in over 20 years.  Although I, personally am not an avid fan of the brutal death foursome, the band did not disappoint diehards, performing classic tracks like Unanimous Approval and Incompetent Secondary to perfection. Rottrovore closed their set with Conspiracised and fittingly the performance was met with “unanimous approval”.

The final band of the evening to play was of course, goregrind aficionados, Embalmer. An intoxicated Paul Gorefiend hit the stage, spewing vocals to utter perfection. You would never guess that he was wasted or that he’d injured his ribs at a Goatwhore show months back. Embalmer killed it, performing tracks from their must-have compilation from 1997, There Was Blood Everywhere, such as Rotten Body Fluids, the title track and my favorite, Bone Box. They also introduced new tracks from the soon to be released LP Apocalyptic Bloodshower. The new songs may have even exceeded the aggression found on earlier releases, which excites me for the release of Apocalyptic Bloodshower. The band closed with the classic, I am the Embalmer, paying homage to sole original member Roy Stewart. Embalmer did not fail to meet high expectations and “keep it fucking sick”!

Overall, the show was the definition of underground metal, with exorbitant demo trading, unofficial, laid back meet and greets, heavy promotion and intense gratitude for underground heads.  A rapturous evening of gore, dedicated to diehards.

Embalmer is currently touring the west coast with Forged in Gore. Dates are as follows…

6/8 Cleveland, OH
6/11 Kansas City, Missouri
6/14-6/15 Las Vegas Deathfest, Las Vegas, Nevada
6/17 Sacremento, California
6/18 Los Angeles, California
6/21 San Diego, California
6/22 Tempe, Arizona
6/25 Houston, Texas
6/26 Dallas, Texas
6/28-6/29 Gutfest, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Catch them in your town! Happy Listening! Hails!

Embalmer

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Embalmer are Cleveland legends in their own right.  Forming back in 1989 under the name Corpsegrinder, original members Roy Stewart, Toby Wulff, Mark Davis and Duane Morris released four demos, Into the Oven, Taxidermist, Rotting Remains and There Was Blood Everywhere, as well as the compilation entitled There Was Blood Everywhere, paving a bloody path for death metal and grindcore bands to come.

After being on hiatus for nine years, Embalmer returned with a vengeance in 2005 to record their first full length album 13 Faces of Death.  Despite enduring several lineup changes, the feel of the music has changed little from the straight forward brutal death metal fans have grown to love, which is a true testament to the integrity of the band.

Embalmer is currently in the studio recording their second full length album Apocalyptic Bloodshower and touring with Vital Remains.  They have released two new tracks to the public on their 2012 compilation Collection of Carnage, entitled The Origin of Scum and Deities of Filth and Cannibalistic Future.  The aggression and brutality of yesteryear remains imminent on the new tracks, to much approval of awaiting fans.  As you may have discovered, however, this blog is dedicated to the music, so I will let you listen for yourself.  Happy Listening.  Hails!