"Grim Reality" is an EP release by US grindcore/ death metal act Macabre. The 6 track, 12:28 minutes long EP was released in 1987 by Decomposed Records. "Grim Reality" has seen several re-issues and re-releases but the version I´m reviewing is the 2009 Decomposed Records re-release which features the 6 tracks in the original mix plus a Neil Kernon remastered/remixed version of the 6 tracks. The new versions are placed first on the disc while the 6 original versions are placed last. The instrumental track "Mass Murderer", which was originally only 1:25 minutes long, is in the new version about 4 minutes long but the remaining tracks don´t feature additional material.
It´s interesting to note that Macabre already this early in their career had a well defined and original sound. The music on "Grim Reality" sounds unmistakably like Macabre. The high pitched screaming and at times almost hysterical vocals spiced up with the occasional growl, the serial killer lyrics (infamous murderers like Albert Fish, Son of Sam and Ed Gein are handled in the trademark bizarre and at times comical lyric style, which is on full display in a song title like "Mr. Albert Fish (Was Children Your Favorite Dish?)"), the furiously fast played double bass drums and the short, memorable and powerful grindcore/ death metal tracks. Macabre have a sound that was amd still is completely their own.
Besides the longer playing time on "Mass Murderer", the major difference between the original mix and the remastered/remixed version of the tracks, is the drum sound. The original bass drum sound had a thud sound to it, while the drum sound on the remastered/remixed version of the tracks has the "classic" Neil Kernon produced Macabre sound. It sounds so different that I was actually in doubt if the drums had been re-recorded. I usually don´t appreciate re-mixes that messes too much with the original mix, but in this case I think the new mix sounds superior to the original mix and therefore I welcome the new sound.
For a 1987 release "Grim Reality" is a few years ahead of it´s time. It´s unusually brutal, lyrically vile, fast and aggressive for it´s time and should definitely be counted as one of the earliest grindcore/ death metal releases. A 3.5 star rating is warranted.