Goregrind

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Goregrind is a genre mixing Death Metal and Grindcore. Bands playing in this style feature extremely violent or medical terminology for lyrics, extreme, and for artwork (often times very real pictures), a deviation from the political messages of most Hardcore bands, and many bands make use of pitch shifted or extremely low guttural vocals. The credit for the first Goregrind band goes the United Kingdom's Carcass, formed in 1985 who's debut Reek Of Putrefaction became a favourite of DJ John Peel. Other notable early Goregrind acts include Sweden's General Surgery formed in 1988, United States' Impetigo formed in 1987, and the Netherland's Last Days Of Humanity formed in 1989.

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LAST DAYS OF HUMANITY Horrific Compositions Of Decomposition

Album · 2021 · Goregrind
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Vim Fuego
Goregrind – invented by Carcass, perfected by Regurgitate, and pushed to the absolute limit by Last Days of Humanity.

Everything Last Days of Humanity (LDOH) has ever produced has been extreme, pushing the boundaries between brutal uncompromising music and formless noise. This is what endears the band to it’s fans, and also deters potential new listeners. Just look at the band’s previous album covers. Gory pictures are the norm among goregrind bands, but LDOH’s album covers take the revulsion to new depths. Human bodies aren’t just mangled but are also decomposing, with images so visceral and disgusting you can almost smell the putrefaction and trigger your gag reflex. This music isn’t something which can just be explored casually.

And the music. It’s fast, distorted, guttural, and really fucking heavy, but often it dissolves into an indistinguishable blur. It’s a nasty, gut-punch kind of a blur, and quite satisfying in it’s own right, but it’s hard to tell where bass, guitar, vocals, and drums all start and end. There have always riffs lurking just beneath the surface, but like the Loch Ness monster, they have proved to be elusive up until now.

Right from the first few seconds, “Hematopoietic System Tissue and Lymphoid Fail” opens with an absolutely massive riff which wouldn’t sound out of place on Carcass’ first two albums, except that it’s crystal clear and monumentally heavy. It seems like for almost the first time in their career LDOH actually had a production budget.

However, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Hans Smits’ vocals still sound like a clogged drain in a pathology lab. Clearer production aside, this is still the familiar trademark micro-blast songs, sometimes lasting only a few seconds but run together so it’s often hard to know where one song ends and the next begins. Let’s face it though, this isn’t the sort of music you listen to for individual songs. Other than with the opening track, the only other time this matters is with a suitably mangled cover of Fear of God’s “Running Through The Blood”. Sometimes music emerges from the crimson maelstrom. Otherwise, this album is glorious, gory cascades of shredded, decaying human tissue.

So… is LDOH breaking new ground? No. Is LDOH still pushing the limits? Yes. Is this a contradiction? Maybe. Is “Horrific Compositions of Decomposition” any good? Yes.

GENERAL SURGERY Corpus In Extremis: Analysing Necrocriticism

Album · 2009 · Goregrind
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UMUR
"Corpus In Extremis: Analysing Necrocriticism" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Swedish goregrind/death metal act General Surgery. The album was released through Listenable Records in March 2009. General Surgery were originally active in the 1988-1991 period and released three demos and the "Necrology (1991)" EP before disbanding. The members have since been part of other prolific Swedish death metal and grindcore acts such as Dismember, Afflicted, Crematory and Regurgitate. General Surgery reformed again in the early 00s (although it was only guitarist Joachim "Jocke" Carlsson and lead vocalist Grant McWilliams who remained from the lineup who recorded the "Necrology (1991)" EP) and have been putting out a string of releases since 2003.

There have been two lineup changes since the release of the band´s debut full-length studio album "Left Hand Pathology" from 2006, as bassist Glenn Sykes has been replaced by Andreas Eriksson, and lead vocalist Grant McWilliams has been replaced by Erik Sahlström. McWilliams had been unstable for a while, and was in the end unable to continue with the band. In keeping with the pathology/Gore concept all band members are credited with the Dr. title.

Stylistically "Corpus In Extremis: Analysing Necrocriticism" pretty much continues where "Left Hand Pathology (2006)" left off. It´s (early) Carcass influenced goregrind/death metal performed by skilled musicians and featuring a well sounding production, which provides the listener with a better opportunity to hear what is going on, than what the late 80s/early 90s goregrind releases by artists like Carcass, Nuclear Death, and Impetigo could offer. "Corpus In Extremis: Analysing Necrocriticism" is not a polished release by any means though, and the powerful production is still suitably raw and brutal.

While the stylistic development is minimal between this album and its predecessor, I still think "Corpus In Extremis: Analysing Necrocriticism" is the stronger and slightly more varied release. The core style is pretty one-dimensional but General Surgery manage to put in some mid-paced heavy sections, and other details to keep things relatively interesting for the duration of the 15 track, 36:22 minutes long album. So upon conclusion "Corpus In Extremis: Analysing Necrocriticism" is a good quality goregrind/death metal release and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

POSTHUMOUS REGURGITATION Exhumation of Cadavers for Research and Consumption

Album · 2017 · Goregrind
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siLLy puPPy
Little did Carcass realize that when they released the first goregrind album all the way back in 1988 that the floodgates would open and never close again. Joining the incessant flow of splattergrind and horrorcore is the Santa Ana, California spawned POSTHUMOUS REGURGITATION which features the perversion patrol noisemaking team of Dr. Fleshkreep Cadaver Procurement (bass, vocals), Stenchtub (drums), Gut-Eater Biohazardous Waste Disposal (guitar, vocals) and Professor Pathology Forensic Analysis (vocals).

Straight from the band’s own website, the band claims they are grave robbing and cannibalistic, rotting goregrind… raverobbing and cannibalistic, rotting goregrind… POSTHUMOUS REGURGITATION is a goregrind band from Santa Ana, California with influences like Haemorrhage, General Surgery, Dead Infection, and Regurgitate. It all began with this 2017 debut EXHUMATION OF CADAVERS FOR RESEARCH. Nice marketing slogan but how is the music?

Well, this is goregrind after all and perhaps one of the least varied subs in all of the core section at the metal music shopping center so what we get is the expected relentless bombast of guitar riffs, bass lines and drumming that simply act as noise to accompany the gnarled piggy vocals that narrate tales of “Ingestion of Fetid Afterbirth” or “Mastication of Fetal Tissue and Vital Organs.” Like many grindcore based styles, this one has sound samples in between tracks that try to add a bit of variety to the otherwise fairly uniform onslaught of gore.

In the honor of modern grindcore traditions, this so-called album is short and to the point and only amounts to nearly 19 minutes of playing time. While nothing out of the ordinarily this is certainly a decent slice of goregrind with satisfying chugging guitar riffs, bass lines that can be heard and even vocals that have more than the average range as some sound like Inquisition styled croaking while others are more piggy squeals like Pig Destroyer. Overall not bad but nothing that will blow you away either but for those intent on getting as much goregrind in their world as possible this won’t disappoint either.

GENERAL SURGERY Left Hand Pathology

Album · 2006 · Goregrind
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UMUR
"Left Hand Pathology" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish death metal/goregrind act General Surgery. The album was released through Listenable Records in October 2006. General Surgery were originally active in the 1988-1991 period and released three demos and the "Necrology (1991)" EP before disbanding. The members have since been part of other prolific Swedish death metal and grindcore acts such as Dismember, Afflicted, Crematory and Regurgitate. General Surgery reformed again in the early 00s (although it´s only guitarist Joachim "Jocke" Carlsson and lead vocalist Grant McWilliams who remain from the lineup who recorded the "Necrology (1991)" EP) and have been putting out a string of releases since 2003.

So while "Left Hand Pathology" may be a debut album, it´s an album featuring seasoned musicians, who know how to handle their instruments. Stylistically General Surgery pretty much continue where they left off with "Necrology (1991)". Early Carcass influenced goregrind/death metal complete with gory pathology oriented lyrics and bizarre song titles like "Mucopurulent Mayhem", "Convivial Corpse Disposal Methodology", and "Capricious Provisional Cadaver Grater". The music style is also very similar to early Carcass, even down to the "juicy" growling vocal style, although the occasional old school Swedish death metal part is also heard. The latter is a minor element of the band´s sound though, and overall it wouldn´t be wrong to label the music style on "Left Hand Pathology" goregrind Carcass worship.

General Surgery was one of the first Carcass worship acts but upon returning to the scene in the early 00s, several other artists had picked up the torch, and today they are just one of many. So the novelty of being one of the first acts to pay tribute to the legendary British act has worn off. At this point it´s purely about the quality of the music and in that department the material on the 14 track, 33:53 minutes long album is decent. The playing is tight, the songwriting effective, and the sound production is raw, powerful, and detailed, so overall the product is of a relatively high quality. The "relative" word is used here because the songwriting is too one-dimensional in the end, and the tracks are hard to tell apart even after many listens, and there is no arguing the material could have prospered from more variation. Had more of the tracks featured a degree of variation like the closing track "Convivial Corpse Disposal Methodology", which is an absolutely brilliant track, my overall impression of the album had probably been different, but as it is it´s simply not varied enough.

When that is said "Left Hand Pathology" is still an entertaining release while it plays and if you can´t get enough of early Carcass worship albums this is definitely one of the places to go. Just take it for what is is. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

THE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINERS Forensic Fugues and Medicolegal Medleys

Album · 2002 · Goregrind
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siLLy puPPy
Goregrind is that not so cuddly mix of grindcore and death metal but more often than not it sounds a lot more like the former with only traces of the latter but what really sets this demonically possessed noisefest from the rest of the extreme metal pack is its utter obsession with all things putridly disgusting! Whether it be bizarre mutilations, diseased decaying corpses with maggot colonies or just good old fashioned forensic pathology, goregrind is the place to run to when melodic death metal has just become too tame for its own good.

This little prickly subgenre got its start in the 80s with Carcass and its shocking slap in the face debut “Reek Of Putrefaction” which when compared to the hairspray friendly metal bands that were in heavy rotation on MTV must’ve been quite disturbing indeed. Carcass followed up with the equally demented “Symphonies Of SIckness” but then sorta got tired of the whole shtick and moved on to a more technically infused variation of death metal. The band itself grew tired of it but many fans wanted more and the style continued on with an ever growing legion of noisemakers squealing out lyrics recited from an anatomy textbook.

One of the downfalls of this style of music is that it all starts sounding the same unless any given artist can find some way to stand out. Well that where THE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINERS comes into the picture. Formed in Scotts Valley, CA just north of Santa Cruz, this trio that has consisted of Dr. Jack Putnam, MD (drums, vocals), Dr. Morton Fairbanks, MD (vocals, guitar, bass) and Dr. Guy Radcliffe (bass, vocals) started as a mere goregrind era Carcass cover band but the most remarkable thing of all is that they claim to be legit medical doctors who were either fully licensed MDs or in the medical school final stages. Of course they soon got bored with just covers and decided to continue on where early Carcass left off. After an early lineup with an EP sampler, this band released its debut FORENSIC FUGUES AND MEDICOLEGAL MEDLEYS in 2002.

Admittedly derivative and existing as a fictitious band that continued what Carcass may have done after “Symphonies Of SIckness,” THE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINERS does indeed sound exactly like 80s Carcass with those wickedly distorted grind riffs, squealed and snorted vocals and all the best goregrind subject matter as evidenced in tracks like “NH2(CH2)4NH2 & C5H14N2 (Putrescine & Cadaverine)” and "Algor Mortis: The Linear Rate of Cadaveric Cooling.” In fact this sounds so authentic it makes you wonder if this was actually Carcass releasing material under a different band name and of course there has been much speculation about the authenticity of the whole MD shtick given the band’s website was found out to be owned by a member of Exhumed.

Nevertheless the band claims it’s the real deal often posing for photo ops even if they have never played live. The gray-haired dude is the bassist who was 63 years old when he did an interview on MTV about the whole thing. So whether or not this is the biggest hoax in grindcore history or the final infiltration of the metal universe into the most unlikely of establishments remains to be seen but one thing is for sure and that is if you just have never gotten over Carcass moving on to tech death and you really, really wanted more of what they had to offer with their timeless classics of the 80s then you really, really must hear what THE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINERS have amputated from the past. No new albums since 2007 so that means this band only released two actual albums. Perhaps they saw the limitations as well.

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