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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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EXHUMED Gore Metal Album Cover Gore Metal
3.90 | 5 ratings
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XYSMA Above the Mind of Morbidity

EP · 1990 · Goregrind
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"Above the Mind of Morbidity" is an EP release by Finnish grindcore/death metal act Xysma. The EP was released through ComeBack Records in 1990. It´s the follow-up release to the April 1989 "Swarming of the Maggots" demo. Guitarist Olli Nurminen has been added to the lineup, making it possible for Janitor to concentrate solely on performing vocals.

Compared to the brutal, noisy, and savage grindcore sound of the "Swarming of the Maggots" demo, Xysma has opted for a more varied style of music on "Above the Mind of Morbidity". The pace has been lowered significantly so the tracks now feature both fast blasting sections and sludgy mid-paced death metal parts. There´s also the occasionally brutal groove found here and even a slow doomy part here and there. If a valid reference should be made it´s Carcass "Symphonies of Sickness" (November 1989, Earache Records) album which first comes to mind.

It´s audible that Xysma have grown as musicians since "Swarming of the Maggots", and they are now a tight playing unit, but it´s their creative songwriting which is most impressive. The Carcass influence is of course strong, but Xysma still bring a lot of their own ideas to the table, and you´ll find loads of killer riffs and irresistable brutal grooves on this EP, in addition to the depraved, juicy, and burbing growling vocals. It´s impossible not to feel the nasty sleaze and gory filth of it all while listening to "Above the Mind of Morbidity".

"Above the Mind of Morbidity" features a raw, brutal, and detailed sound production. It´s arguably a demo quality sound production (despite this being released as an EP), but the rawness and utter brutality of the sound perfectly suits the material. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved and "Above the Mind of Morbidity" is without a doubt one of the most important and seminal releases from the early Finnish death metal scene.

XYSMA Swarming of the Maggots

Demo · 1989 · Goregrind
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"Swarming of the Maggots" is the first demo recording by Finnish grindcore/death metal act Xysma. The demo was independently released in April 1989 (originally on cassette tape). Xysma formed in 1988 under the Repulse monicker but later the same year after releasing the "On a Cartrip in Sweden" demo, they changed their name to Xysma. Xysma are one of the seminal extreme metal acts on the Finnish scene, and they were highly influential on (and part of) the burgeoning Finnish death metal scene.

"Swarming of the Maggots" doesn´t feature many death metal elements though, and it´s instead a blasting, noisy, and pretty extreme grindcore demo strongly influenced by contemporary Napalm Death and especially Carcass. The demo features 18 tracks and a total playing time of 17:05 minutes, so it´s almost self-explanatory that most of these tracks are very short.

The sound production is raw, lo-fi, and abrasive. Everything is turned to 11, except for the guitars, which are pretty much buried as a low distorted buzzing in a soundscape dominated by a loud distorted bass, busy animalistic and highly energetic drumming, and beastly extreme screaming/growling. None of the above is of course surprising today, when we learn of the Napalm Death/Carcass influences, but back then this must have been the most extreme release on the early Finnish extreme metal scene. Just look at the release date...

While Xysma do incorporate a few mid-paced heavy parts to some of their songs (again not completely unlike early Carcass), "Swarming of the Maggots" is a slightly one-dimensional affair. For what it is, it´s well performed, well composed, and although the sound production is far away from sounding anything like a professional recording, it´s still quite the suitable sound for material this extreme. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

STICKOXYDAL Obstetrical Collection

Album · 2007 · Goregrind
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siLLy puPPy
Belarusian band from Maladzechna that existed from 2003 to 2011 and had a number of lineup changes. The band started out as a comedic crust punk / grindcore band and released a couple demos in 2004 but soon switched things up to a goregrind sound in the vein of early Carcass and immediately got signed to the Czech goregrind label Bizarre Leprous Production and soon following the debut “The Perverted Position Of Interiors.”

After a hefty touring schedule and the EP “Chainsaw Cesarian Section,” STICKOXYDAL released this second and last full-length OBSTETRICAL COLLECTION which showcased the band’s maturity as a goregrind / death grind band with a wider range of styles inserted into the utter brutality of the dissonant guitar chugs. This album features 24 tracks and for a goregrind release quite long at nearly 34 minutes.

Well, nothing totally new under the sun here. Typical goregrind themes of pathological conditions, violence and medical terminology. Musically in the mid-tempo range with extremely caustic guitar tones and a bass line that often bleeds into the overall fuzz. Somewhat lazy drumming as it merely keeps the time and a variety of vocals ranging pig squeals to spastic grunts and weird bird calls? Ha, not sure what some of those are to be honest.

Only two tracks exceed two minutes! Most are around one or less. Over the top and to the point STICKOXYDAL must’ve been all the rage in Belarus where this kind of kitschy metal wasn’t ever in fashion. Personally i find this OK but not extremely exciting as it lacks variety and is the kind of metal you can learn to play in like 5 minutes! Sure i love me some shock and awe but it’s not in the same league as early Carcass, Pharmacist, Viscera Infest or Exhumed. Just gets the job done but does it as well as it can.

I always love the track listings on these kinds of goregrind releases though. I mean how can you not love: “Fear of the Vaginal Birth,” “ Hunt The Cunt,” “Rectovaginal Fistula Or Perineal Rupture 3rd Degree,” “Umbilical Chord Entanglement” or “Uterine Flooding!” The album goes by fast and although it’s decent it’s not something really beckons a return visit as it’s average at best. A beast for sure but not the best by any stretch of the imagination.

CARCASS Symphonies of Sickness

Demo · 1988 · Goregrind
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"Symphonies of Sickness" is the second demo release by UK goregrind act Carcass. The demo was independently released in December 1988. It bridges the gap between Carcass debut- and sophomore full-length studio albums "Reek of Putrefacation" (June 1988) and "Symphonies of Sickness" (November 1989). The demo features five tracks and a total playing time of 20:10 minutes. All five tracks would appear in re-recorded versions on the "Symphonies of Sickness" album.

The sound quality is pretty lo-fi, murky, and noisy, and it can best be described as listening to the tracks from "Symphonies of Sickness" with the raw and unpolished production of "Reek of Putrefacation". It´s interesting to hear the band members talk between the tracks, and while I´m not 100% sure, this sounds a lot like a rehearsal demo recorded live in the band´s rehearsal space. So while it´s certainly an interesting historical document and a testimony to how creative and skilled Carcass were already this early on, it´s a demo which is hard on the ears. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

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.

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