Deathgrind

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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.

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deathgrind Music Reviews

TERRORIZER World Downfall

Album · 1989 · Deathgrind
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SilentScream213
World Downfall is by far my favorite Grindcore album of the 80’s. It’s become really clear to me why most Grindcore doesn’t do it for me while Terrorizer kicks ass.

1. I don’t like silly/humorous music, which a fair portion of Grindcore is. This means lyrically and sonically – Terrorizer is full of hardcore riffs and angry, pessimistic messages that mesh well with the chaotic, manic wall of aggression.

2. Unlike most Punk genres, if you want to play Grindcore, you have to know how to play your instruments… Doing everything as fast as physically possible without having some amazing technique and precision just sounds awful. Terrorizer is full of extreme talent and capability. They nail everything they aim for and always sound precise (save the vocalist… more on that later).

3. If you want to play Grindcore, you need decent production. If you’re just going hard on every instrument as aggressively as possible, and you don’t have some sort of production job that can individualize those instruments, it just sounds like noise. World Downfall has some very good production without compromising the grit or making it sound clean. There is no sheen to it; simply a very good job of making sure every awesome riff is still audible over those pounding drums, and the bass gets some great treatment too.

There is one huge weakness here, else it would be a near perfect grind record. The vocalist.

I know what people say, “you don’t listen to extreme music for the vocals! It’s for the riffs!” Never for a second have I felt that way, and never have I understood it. If vocals are present, they matter, and if lyrics are present, they matter. They are pieces of the art that forms the whole.

The vocalist here doesn’t have a bad sound, and the lyrics are fine. The written lyrics are fine. The words that come out of the vocalist’s mouth hit about 50% of what’s written, 40% of the time shout random words or syllables that are not understandable, and 10% of the time completely skips a verse or chorus and says absolutely nothing. There are no full sentences or lines, at best a few of the words are launched out, sometimes not even in order. It’s like the vocalist had never seen the lyrics before, they just gave him a paper while they jammed and he decided to wing it.

Imagine if any other band member did that with their instrument. The album would sound like absolute crap. Why do vocalists get a pass? Not from me. Really drags down an otherwise top-notch grind album.

SLAUGHTERBOX The Ubiquity of Subjugation

Album · 2011 · Deathgrind
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siLLy puPPy
SLAUGHTERBOX is an extreme metal band that began in the year 2000 in Red Bluff, CA but has since relocated to the Sacramento area. Although the band has technically been together for 20 years it has so far only released one EP titled THE UBIQUITY OF SUBJUGATION which came out in 2011. The lineup on this monstrous burst of sonic chaos is only 19 minutes and 21 seconds with the lineup of Pete Chavez (drums, vocals), Matt Thompson (guitar), Hal Rotter (guitar) and Johnny Bourdon (bass, vocals).

This band plays an excessively brutal form of technical deathgrind with incessantly fast tempos and unrelenting bombastic pomp. The tracks are short and to the point with only one exceeding the three minute mark but in the fiery wake of one listen of this cacophonous din it is quite the enervating experience. SLAUGHTERBOX not only excels at delivering some of the most demanding brutality at breakneck speeds but also engages in some seriously technical workouts much like the mathcore giants Psyopus and Behold… The Arctopus although the music is more focused on following a deathgrind blueprint.

Despite the excessive angst with pig squeals and screaming at the top of the lungs vocal antics, there are occasional clean jazzy guitar segments that only last a short time but offer a surprisingly contrast but the technical wizardry of the album is of very high quality and the musicianship is really about as good as it gets as far as extreme technical wankery is involved. This is literally extreme on every level like a suffocating cloud of sarin gas thrown into a subway. There is no escape from the relentless banter except the few jagged jazzy interludes.

This stuff is as brutal, chaotic and crazy as it gets and considered some of the most technical wankery that can be found. This style of metal will only attract the most insane amongst us but if you’re into Brain Drill, Rings of Saturn, Viraemia or Cytotoxin then SLAUGHTERBOX is your demented deliciousness in full decibelage only this band adds a lot of progressive touches and jazz-metal underpinnings that many similar bands lack and to top it off plays at some of the most frenetic dizzying speeds humanly possible assuming of course these are mere humans playing this shit. Impressive to say the least.

TERRORIZER World Downfall

Album · 1989 · Deathgrind
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siLLy puPPy
Emerging from the cesspools of 80s extreme metal, the Los Angeles based TERRORIZER were one of those bands that took the logical next step by incorporating the grindcore fusion of heavy metal and hardcore punk and added even more extreme death metal elements to the mix. The band had a short first run having only been around from 1986-89 and squeaked out only one album WORLD DOWNFALL which was only released by Earache records after the band had already called it quits.

The band’s short history was more of a brief gathering rather than a long term band project and had this debut album not become an underground classic, the band would probably never had reformed in 2005 and then again in 2009 to release several newer albums. While TERRORIZER had a short time when they played live, they benefited substantially from the late 80s underground cassette trading world that was catapulting extreme metal bands into the next stage of popularity.

Founded as the trio of vocalist Oscar Garcia, guitarist Jesse Pintado and drummer Pete Sandoval, the band picked up Alfred Estrada who was replaced by David Vincent on bass before recording WORLD DOWNFALL at the request of Earache Records who saw the band’s potential in the burgeoning underground grindcore metal world. With the cover art and overall sound clearly borrow from Napalm Death’s album “Scum,” TERRORIZER simply took the music to the next level of extremity with heavier distortion, faster tempos and death metal growls and blastbeats.

While not quite sticking to the micro song standards of less than one minute in length tracks, the sixteen tracks still retain a rather hardcore punk attitude with tracks ranging from over a minute to no more than three and a half. While other bands like Nuclear Death, Azagthoth and DNF had experimented with the fusion of death metal and grindcore earlier, it was TERRORIZER along with the Chicago based Macabre that really brought the new deathcore subgenre to the forefront of the late 80s diversification of extreme metal.

Despite not being the first to craft the deathcore fusionary possibilities, TERRORIZER is often credited as having done so. WORLD DOWNFALL pretty much follows the standard grindcore characteristics of Napalm Death and early Carcass that borrowed crust punk compositional styles augmented with more extreme metal bombast. This is one of those cases where the classic status has somehow tried to make this album into one of those magnificent albums of the ages but i stand with those who find this album a bit tedious and overrated.

Firstly, TERRORIZER was NOT the first to adopt this style of death metal / grindcore hybrid and the delivery of the album comes across as extremely monotonous. The band clearly added the more ambitious instrumental prowess to carry across their ability to play the music on a higher technical level with blitzkrieg deliveries of extremity and aggression, however where WORLD DOWNFALL is severely lacking is in the compositional department as all the tracks whizz by sounding like only slight variations of what came before ( a trait that plagues many “core” albums).

For the most part the riffs are identical, the percussive bombast doesn’t deviate too much from the status quo and the grooves, once established, pretty much deliver the exact same semi-melodic output for the entire album’s run. In fact i can’t think of a single thing that this album brought to the metal table that hadn’t already been done before. While WORLD DOWNFALL has gained the reputation as one of the great extreme metal albums of the 80s, i find it rather monotonous and uninspired which apparently the band members themselves agreed as they would all jump ship soon. David Vincent and Pete Sandoval soon joined Morbid Angel. Jesse Pintado moved on to Napalm Death and Oscar Garcia to Nausea. Good but not great.

TERRORIZER Caustic Attack

Album · 2018 · Deathgrind
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UMUR
"Caustic Attack" is the 4th full-length studio album by US death metal/grindcore act Terrorizer. The album was released through The End Records in October 2018. It´s the successor to "Hordes of Zombies" from 2012 and features an almost completely new lineup compared to the lineup who recorded the predecessor. The only remaining member is drummer Pete "Commando" Sandoval. New in the lineup are vocalist/bassist Sam Molina and guitarist Lee Harrison (drummer with Florida death metal act Monstrosity).

It´s seldom an album title describes the music on an album as well as "Caustic Attack" does, but the album title promises exactly what Terrorizer deliver on the album. A vicious caustic deathgrind attack. Sandoval has a powerful and distinct sounding drumming style, which drives the music forward in an aggressive and technically well played fashion. The riffs are played with razor sharp precision but not without a human touch, and the growling vocals suit the music well. The latter do become a little one-dimensional about half way through the album, and a little more variation in that department could have made the album even more entertaining, but it´s not a major issue.

Some sections have an old school Morbid Angel feel to them, but this is not an album that otherwise sounds like Sandoval´s former band. Terrorizer already early on carved a niché of their own by incorporating grindcore, hardcore, and crust punk elements to their death metal sound, and those influences are still heard on occasion on "Caustic Attack", and adds to the fact that the album is relatively varied (considering the core style). The material on the 14 track, 43:52 minutes long album are also pretty catchy and several of the tracks feature hook laden vocal phrases to growl along to. So while this is undeniably really extreme music, there is actually a good deal of memorable moments on the album (an example is the heavy opening section of "Crisis"), and that´s not necessarily something you encounter very often when listening to deathgrind releases.

"Caustic Attack" features a powerful, raw, and brutal sound, which suits the material perfectly. The drums are especially well produced, and the listener is able to hear each drum stroke clearly throughout the album. Upon conclusion "Caustic Attack" is a high quality deathgrind album. It´s fiercely aggressive, relentlessly brutal, and just reeks class in all departments. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

TERRORIZER Caustic Attack

Album · 2018 · Deathgrind
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Vim Fuego
Back in 1989, Terrorizer showed the metal world that grindcore didn’t have to be mired in shoddy D.I.Y. hardcore production and sounds, and could have a metallic sharpness to it. The band has rightly been praised and idolized for their influence on grind and death metal. Lyrically, they straddled the line between the political early grindcore, like Napalm Death and Sore throat, and the gore and horror of early death metal, like Autopsy and Necrophagia. Terrorizer was also famed for the high levels of musicianship demonstrated too, with the Morbid Angel pairing of Pete Sandoval and David Vincent showed that simply abusing the hell out of the kick and snare drums, and distorted blown-out weren’t the only way to play grindcore. Jesse Pintado’s breakneck riffage saw him fit in perfectly to Napalm Death.

For many years, it seemed “World Downfall” would be a one-off, treasured by fans of extreme metal the world over. Until 2006 it was. And then something happened to change history. Terrorizer dared “reform” and record a second album! “Darker Days Ahead” was poorly received, and was somewhat overshadowed by Pintado dying only days after it’s release. Another album “Hordes of Zombies” was released in 2012, and a fourth album, “Caustic Attack”, arrived in 2018. The three 21st century albums have been criticised for ruining the legacy of the band, and are supposedly pale imitations of the ’89 original.

The observant reader out there might have noticed the word “reform” was in “quotation marks”. It was like that for a “reason”. The criticism levelled at the “reformed” Terrorizer, and the three subsequent “albums” really is moronic. It is proof that those voicing these criticisms are elitist fools of the highest level, and have no idea of the true legacy of Terrorizer. A bold claim? Perhaps. But then, consider this:

TERRORIZER BROKE UP IN 1988.

Yep. There was no such band as Terrorizer in 1989 when “World Downfall” was released. What’s more, some of the songs on “World Downfall” weren’t even Terrorizer songs. Explanation time.

After Terrorizer broke up, Sandoval joined Morbid Angel, and vocalist Oscar Garcia continued to work with his other band Nausea. Bass player Alfred Estrada ended up in jail. Enter one Shane Embury. Napalm Death’s four string grind maestro Embury loved Terrorizer’s demos and the split they had shared with the aforementioned Nausea. He pestered Earache Record’s main man Dig Pearson into funding a posthumous Terrorizer album. And the rest is history? Well, not quite. There was the matter of recording the album.

Sandoval was ensconced in Morrisound Studios in Florida, busy recording Morbid Angel’s incendiary debut “Altars of Madness”. Garcia and Pintado arrived at the studios to put the album together. Busting Estrada out of jail was a bit beyond the resources of the band, so Sandoval’s band mate Vincent was pulled in to cover bass and some vocal duties. Right so time to rip into it? Er, not quite… Garcia had also played guitar in the original Terrorizer, but realised he couldn’t remember how to play most of the songs. No matter, Pintado had that covered. And away we go… almost. There weren’t actually enough Terrorizer songs to fill an album. What to do? Well, why not borrow some Nausea songs. So they did. Eight hours in the studio, with Vincent and Scott Burns twiddling the knobs in the studio, and “World Downfall” and Terrorizer were done.

So, a band which no longer existed recorded a single album of songs that weren’t even all theirs in super quick time, and what happened? Well, basically everyone fucked off to their respective new gigs, “World Downfall” hit the shelves, and extreme metal fans went mad for it.

So, back to the present day. 29 years after the band’s debut, a fourth Terrorizer album has arrived. There will be the usual naysayers and elitists going on about how it won’t be as good as the original, and that present day Terrorizer isn’t Terrorizer, that it’s a cash-in, a rip-off, a fake, or whatever else. Let them fester in their smug elitist stink. Anyone who takes the time to actually listen to “Caustic Attack” will be rewarded with what Terrorizer has always produced – sharp, intelligent metallic grindcore which is both thought provoking and fun at the same time.

The biggest difference between “Caustic Attack” and “World Downfall” is the improvement in production and sound quality. While “World Downfall” set new standards for grindcore clarity, “Caustic Attack” is sharper still.

Sandoval’s performance in particular is stunning. He has more room to explore looser high speed rhythms than he did in Morbid Angel. Three decades have not dulled the man’s skills in the slightest. From the first moments of lead-off track “Turbulence” he’s straight into his trademark machinegun double kick drums and rattling the snare like a man possessed. What is also instantly obvious is that the trademark Terrorizer riffs are there in bucketloads, and that the new line-up of Sandoval, bassist/vocalist Sam Molina and guitarist Lee Harrison are a match of any previous line-up of the band.

In the past, Terrorizer has mainly produced on short songs, with only a few making it past the three minute mark. Hell, the legendary “Dead Shall Rise” only just clocked past that mark at 3:05. This time out, there are a few longer songs. Does it mean the band has slowed down at all? Nah, you definitely haven’t been paying attention. Five songs come in over four minutes long. This is not a bad thing at all. It just means there’s more Terrorizer to savour. “Crisis” is the first of the longer tracks, but it doesn’t seem like it.

That’s not to say that the hardcore blasts of the past have disappeared either. The title track and “Poison Gas Tsunami” are sharp and, well, caustic and leave the listener salivating for more.

There’s nothing groundbreaking or new on offer here. That is not why you listen to Terrorizer, because the band broke that ground already, in 1989. This is simply the fourth installment from a highly influential band which never managed to record an album in it’s original incarnation. Anyone unable to get past that is a fool to themselves. Extreme metal, grindcore, deathgrind, or whatever other label you want to slap on this band, simply doesn’t get much better than this.

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