Grindcore

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Grindcore is an extreme metal genre formed in the mid 1980's from a marriage of Hardcore Punk, Crust Punk, Thrashcore and the then embryonic Death Metal genre.

Grindcore took Hardcore and Crust Punk's drive for blistering speed and short song format and Death Metal's meatier and heavier sound, as well as taking some influence from Industrial and Noise. A typical Grindcore song on average is about 30 seconds to two minutes long, and usually features downtuned and overdriven guitars and bass with fairly simple punk styled riffs alternating between lightning fast and slower groovier passages. Grindcore drumming usually consists of inhumanly fast blast beating and sometimes slower d-beats. Vocals range from Death Metal growls and grunts to high pitched shrieks, with some bands employing a more Hardcore style of shouted vocals.

Lyrically Grindcore bands usually fall into two camps, ones with political lyrics and messages of many Hardcore bands and the Gore obsessed bands that permeate Death Metal.

The first bands that usually take credit with creating the typical Grindcore sound are the United Kingdom's Napalm Death, formed in 1982, and first releasing the From Enslavement To Obliteration demo in 1986, and the full studio album Scum in 1987, the American band Regurgitation formed in 1986, and releasing the Organic Backwash demo in 1986, before changing their name to O.L.D. and recording the Old Lady Drivers album in 1988, and the United States' Genocide formed in 1985, who would record three demos in 1986, before changing their name to Repulsion and recording the Horrified studio album, which wouldn't be released until 1989 after the group had split up for the first time. Other notable early Grindcore acts include the United Kingdom's Extreme Noise Terror formed in 1985 (though they consider themselves as Hardcore punk), the United States' Terrorizer formed in 1987 featuring many members who would go on to be in other well-known and influential acts, Belgium's Agathocles formed in 1985 who dub their style of Grindcore 'Mincecore', United Kingdom's Unseen Terror formed in 1986 featuring members of Napalm Death, Italy's Cripple Bastards formed originally under the name of Grimcorpses before changing sound and name, Japan's legendary group S.O.B. formed in 1983, and others.

Some bands that must be mentioned for being highly influential to the development of Grindcore, include the Hardcore Punk of Siege, Deep Wound, Discharge, GISM, Amebix, Larm, Asocial, as well as Industrial/No Wave group Swans, and the Industrial group Throbbing Gristle.

Grindcore has also spawned many sub genres.

• Deathgrind.

Deathgrind is a genre mixing Death Metal and Grindcore. Bands that play in this style typically are heavier sounding and more technical in playing and song structure than your average Grindcore band. Deathgrind is closely related to both Goregrind and Pornogrind stylistically. Notable Deathgrind bands include the United States' Brutal Truth formed in 1990, the United States Cephalic Carnage formed in 1992, the United Kingdom's Defecation formed in 1987, Germany's Blood formed in 1986, and the United States' Righteous Pigs formed in 1987. Bands that play Deathgrind can be found on MMA under both Grindcore and Death Metal, depending on where the emphasis lies.

• Goregrind.

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.

• Pornogrind.

Pornogrind is a genre mixing Death Metal and Grindcore. Bands playing in this style feature the use of porn obsessed imagery and lyrics, extremely distorted and pitch shifted vocals, and often times incorporate much slower and groovy sections within songs. Notable Pornogrind bands include the United States' Meat Shits formed in 1989, and Germany's Gut formed in 1991.

• Cybergrind.

Cybergrind is a genre mixing Electronic and Grindcore. Bands that play this style make use of synths, computers, and drum machines in addition to the usual guitars and bass, while some bands use synths, MIDI files, and drum machines exclusively. Many Cybergrind bands tend to have little to no influence or relation to metal. Japan's Catasexual Urge Motivation formed in 1992 is generally considered the first Cybergrind group with a drum machine nicknamed Cyber E.M.F. Other notable Cybergrind bands include the United States Agoraphobic Nosebleed formed in 1994, and Australia's The Berzerker formed in 1995.

• Noisecore.

Noisecore is a genre mixing Hardcore, Noise Rock, and early Grindcore. Bands that play this style of Hardcore/Grindcore usually eschew any form of song structure, in favour of rapid blast beats or fast random playing with riff-less guitar and bass noise, and indecipherable vocal growls and shrieks. Many Noisecore songs don't even hit the 30 second mark, being short blasts and explosions of chaotic sound. Notable Noisecore bands include Australia's Seven Minutes Of Nausea formed in 1985, United States Anal Cunt formed in 1988, United Kingdom's Sore Throat formed in 1987, Switzerland's Fear Of God formed in 1988, and Japan's The Gerogerigegege formed in 1985. Bands that play Noisecore can be found on MMA under both Grindcore and Hardcore, depending on which style is ascendant.

• Fastcore/Thrashcore.

Thrashcore is a genre of Hardcore and early Grindcore. Bands that play in this style of Hardcore/Grindcore are discernible for making use of shorter song structures, faster tempos, and blast beating, more than regular Hardcore bands, and for this Thrashcore can be considered a forerunner to Grindcore and Powerviolence, As many early Grindcore bands took influence from early D.R.I., Deep Wound, and Septic Death. While many Thrashcore artists are labelled as Hardcore here on MMA, some can be considered closer to Grindcore, these bands include Japan's S.O.B. formed in 1983, and the United States' Siege formed in 1981, and Britain's Atavistic formed in 1985. Bands that play Thrashcore can be found on MMA under both Grindcore and Hardcore, depending on where the emphasis rests.

• Powerviolence.

Powerviolence is a genre of Hardcore and early Grindcore. Bands that play in this style are distinguishable from Grindcore and Hardcore for extremely short song lengths with often and sudden tempo changes, and shouted Hardcore vocals. Powerviolence bands draw on early Thrashcore, Hardcore, and Grindcore for inspiration, such as Scum era Napalm Death, Siege, Deep Wound, Cryptic Slaughter, and early D.R.I. Notable Powerviolence bands include the United States' Infest formed in 1986, the United States' Plutocracy formed in 1988, the United States' Hellnation formed in 1988, the United States' Capitalist Casualties formed in 1987, Germany's Yacopsae formed in 1990, and the United States' Man Is The Bastard formed in 1990. Bands that play Powerviolence can be found on MMA under both Grindcore and Hardcore, depending on which is closer to the band's sound.

Sub-genre collaborators (+ child sub-genres):
  • Vim Fuego (leader)

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grindcore Music Reviews

CATASEXUAL URGE MOTIVATION The Encyclopedia of Serial Murders

Album · 1996 · Cybergrind
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SilentScream213
You can get an idea for what this album is about based on the name and album cover. Well, probably, I don’t actually know – the lyrics are impossible to find and entirely indiscernible, but the track titles all check out. The electronic drums give this thing a unique flavor (for its time) and the guitars are actually pretty slow and groovy despite the blast beating drums.

This release is definitely influenced by the Japanese Ero Guro Nansensu movement (erotic grotesque nonsense), which is a really interesting artistic phenomenon that was about exactly as it says. It started back in the first half of the 20th century and for some reason has endured in Japanese art and pop culture up to the modern day (that’s why you see so much gratuitous violence in even mainstream anime). You can bet when Japan caught wind of goregrind and pornogrind, this immediately fit the bill, and was taken to more bizarre extremes with innovative bands like this one pushing the genre further.

Other than all that though, it’s not that great of an album. The vocals are horrible, and the guitars are quite mundane. It’s more fun for the novelty of it. It’s not Cybergrind in itself either, but likely had an influence on the development of the genre, especially seeing as this was easily the biggest Grindcore album to come from Asia at the time.

BLOOD FREAK Total Destruction of the Human Form

Album · 2017 · Grindcore
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UMUR
"Total Destruction of the Human Form" is the 6th full-length studio album by US goregrind/death metal act Blood Freak. The album was released through Horror Pain Gore Death Productions in October 2017. It´s the successor to "Squalor" from 2014.

If you´re familiar with the preceding releases by Blood Freak, you won´t be surprised that you´ll be exposed to filthy, raw, and organic old school goregrind/death metal featuring suitingly bizarre low-budget horror movie influenced song titles like "Melted and Splattered", "Drowning in Sewage", and "The Night of Unholy Desecrations". The music is strongly influenced by early goregrind Carcass (which most artists in the goregrind genre is in one way or another), but Blood Freak do manage not to sound like a one to one clone. The vocals are pretty much unintelligible deep growling, with the occasional snarling aggressive type vocal thrown in for variation. It becomes slighty one-dimensional along the way, but most of the time it works well. The instrumental part of the music features fast blasting goregrind sections, but also both slow and mid-paced heavier sections.

To my ears Blood Freak reached some sort of climax with the high quality "Multiplex Massacre" from 2007, and none of the succeding releases have been able to reach the same heights. The same can be said about "Total Destruction of the Human Form", which is another good quality goregrind release by the band, but also a release lacking the irresistable vile and filthy charm of the early Blood Freak releases (in particular the above mentioned "Multiplex Massacre (2007)"). It´s not that the band have stagnated or anything like that, because I hear several new songwriting/riff ideas here, that I haven´t heard from the band before, but the material simply lacks catchiness and memorability.

That´s not always an issue with music as extreme as this, and one of course can´t expect to be able to sing along to easy listening choruses and other "normal" types of hooks, but a memorable riff, rhythm, or vocal phrase here and there would have made "Total Destruction of the Human Form" a much more inviting release. As it is, it´s still a quality release by Blood Freak, featuring solid musicianship, a well sounding, raw, and organic production, and decent quality songwriting. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

RIGHTEOUS PIGS Stress Related

Album · 1990 · Deathgrind
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UMUR
"Stress Related" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, Nevada based grindcore/death metal act Righteous Pigs. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in 1990. It´s the successor to "Live and Learn" from 1989 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as drummer Scott Leonard has been replaced by Alan Strong. Righteous Pigs formed in 1986 in Las Vegas and featured future Napalm Death guitarist Mitch Harris in the lineup. Righteous Pigs folded soon after the release of "Stress Related" and Harris joined Napalm Death in time for the recording of "Harmony Corruption (1990)".

While "Live and Learn (1989)" was a very raw and unpolished grindcore release, Righteous Pigs have opted to include more heavy mid-paced death metal influences on "Stress Related", which is therefore more in the deathgrind fold than the more hardcore punk influenced grindcore predecessor. At least that´s the impression after listening to the opening track "Eulogy", which features death growling vocals and a riff and rhythm style which wouldn´t have been out of place on "Harmony Corruption (1990)". On the following track "Boundries Unknown" and on the remaining tracks on the album, lead vocalist Joe Caper sings using a more hardcore influenced screaming/shouting type delivery, closer to the vocal style on the debut album (maybe a little more extreme at times). The instrumental part of the music features both mid-paced death metal parts and grindcore blast beat sections, so while it´s sligthly odd that the vocal style changes from the opening track to the rest of the material, the music style is pretty consistent throughout.

"Stress Related" features a raw, powerful and overall well sounding production, which suits the music well. So upon conclusion it´s a quality grindcore/death metal release and it´s also obvious that Righteous Pigs have developed as musicians and composers since "Live and Learn (1989)", which was incredibly raw and unpolished (although still greatly charming). A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

RIGHTEOUS PIGS Live and Learn

Album · 1989 · Deathgrind
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Live and Learn" is the debut full-length studio album by US, Nevada based grindcore act Righteous Pigs. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in 1989. Righteous Pigs formed in 1986 in Las Vegas and featured future Napalm Death guitarist Mitch Harris in the lineup.

Stylistically the material on "Live and Learn" is raw, noisy, aggressive, and filthy grindcore. Sometimes a little chaotic in nature, but the band are well playing, delivering their parts with great precision and they also understand the importance of variation, so while they often blast away at a furiously fast-paced tempo, they play heavier mid-paced parts too, and the combination works wonders as the music never become monotonous. There´s always something new happening within the tracks. One other thing the band do well are the delivery of the vocals and the occasional hook phrase/lyric line, which makes you remember the tracks. For example the lyrics for "I Hope You Die in a Hotel Fire", which resembles the kind of sick and depraved lyrics artists like Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Pig Destroyer would produce 10-15 years down the line. Lead vocalist Joe Caper has a raw, powerful, shouting delivery. His performance here is savage and authentic. The whole band actually sounds like they are standing in a rehearsal room next to you, that´s how unpolished and raw "Live and Learn" is.

So this is an album for those who enjoy the most harsh and noisy grindcore (without entering noisecore territory). It´s old school grindcore, which is basically a fast-paced and furiously aggressive take on hardcore punk. Many artists have played the style over the years with varying degrees of success, but Righteous Pigs manage to put enough of their own spin on the style to stand out. The fact that they are skilled musicians doesn´t exactly hurt their case either. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

CAULDRON OF SHIT Mysterious Fortress

EP · 2017 · Deathgrind
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siLLy puPPy
Having festered in the sewers of Perth, Australia, the self-penned progenitors of shitcore arose and named themselves CAULDRON OF SHIT. This extremely noisy outfit consists of the duo of Sam Ford (vocals, drums) and Drew Griffiths (guitar, drums) who together have so far only unleashed this terror-ific EP of a mere 13 minutes and 23 seconds but wow is it a nasty brutal beast of noise-fest that is guaranteed to make YOUR shit list!

While this EP is basically a hybrid of nerdy technical death metal mixed with the explosive brevity of grindcore, the Bandcamp page suggest a new term such as technical grindcore but also adds a bit of mathcore, deathgrind and speed metal to the mix. Honestly it’s almost impossible to detect strains of imposed nomenclature to these kinds of loud obnoxiously brutal albums so let’s just call it extreme grind-based noise metal. Deathgrind works too.

Like most “core” albums especially of a short length, this one is unapologetically loud, fast, brutal and as obnoxious as is possible. The guitars are primarily set to grindcore with tech death and mathcore moments thrown in for good measure. The vocals are primarily guttural growls with a few pig squeals thrown in here and there. These tracks are very short with the longest of the 17 tracks only hitting the one minute and nine second mark.

Think of this as a more techy version of Pig Destroyer and you’re on the right track. One of those releases that gets your juices flowing while you’re experiencing it’s uncompromising rampage but rather forgettable after all is said and done. These core hybrids have been circulating for some time now so the wow factor is missing and the technical playing while impressive isn’t anything new under the sun. A fun little romp through musical chaos but nothing to get overly excited about either. No shit!

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