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

ULTRA VOMIT Panzer Surprise!

Album · 2017 · Grindcore
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Vim Fuego
French humour can be a bit hard to understand for non-French people. It takes huge chunks of absurdity and mixes it with social commentary, word play (“jeux de mots”, often untranslatable to other languages), and elements of what-the-fuck weirdness. Those of us who aren’t French can laugh along with the bits we do get, but we aren’t getting the full burn. However, not getting the full joke isn’t a problem when the bits you do get are actually really fucking funny. Take “Panzer Surprise!” here as an example.

You’re not going to expect anything too intellectual from a grindcore band called Ultra Vomit which has produced a previous album called “M. Patate” (Mr Potato), and another called “Objectif: Thunes” which has a piss take of a power metal album cover. And piss-taking absurdity is exactly what you get on “Panzer Surprise!”

(Now, a warning: my French isn’t too good. I used to take French at school mainly because the teacher was hot, and I was a horny teenage boy. I remember a few things, like merde is French for shit, fantôme means ghost, and saying “j'aime tes seins” to a girl is not very polite (it means “I like your tits”, and that was the last time I ever said anything in class when I didn’t know what it meant first!) Due to my linguistic deficiencies Google Translate has been used extensively here. If there are any language fuck ups, blame the interweb, not me!)

The funny starts with the cover art. “Panzer Surprise!” has a cartoon caricature of the band riding a tank through the Looney Toons famous end card, presumably squashing Porky Pig. That’s all, folks!

Intro track “Entooned” previews the musical madness here. Yes, the name is a play on Entombed, and you get a death metal version of the Looney Toons theme song.

Second track “Kammthaar” is more Rammstein than Rammstein. It has a massive martial main riff, a chantable chorus even if you don’t understand the language, it has the solemn almost-spoken breakdown, choral backing. It seems quite earnest and meaningful until you realise kammthar is a word play on the word “camtar”, or van. Yep, it’s a Rammstein style song about driving a truck.

Next comes “Un Chien Géant”, which literally translates to “A Giant Dog” (I guessed that even with my stunted French!) and is apparently in the style of French metal band Tagada Jones. Not heard of them, so not sure how accurate the parody is – it’s probably one of those jokes only the French would get. And the whole album continues like this. “Takoyaki” starts out sounding like a System of a Down parody, then the song breaks down, and out come the Japanese kawaii vocals a la Babymetal. “Super Sexe” is a dance club (maybe a strip club?) and it inspired a cowpunk song. “Hyper Sexe” is just the word “sexe” repeated 124 times. “Le Train Fantôme” is about a trip on train 666, a ghost train.

The next obvious parody is “Calojira”. It it’s a note-perfect homage to Gojira, combined with the lyrics of French singer/songwriter Calogero. Er, except Ultra Vomit shoot a seagull mid-song.

“Jésus” is perhaps the sharpest parody on show here. It turns AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” into a slick Christian rock anthem ripping TV preachers, and then somehow morphs into an homage to footballer Lionel Messi. It could be a comment on sport, religion, and mass media, or it could just be a really funny song. “Pink Pantera” almost reaches the same height of absurdity. Yep, the Pink Panther theme tune done Pantera style. And “Pipi Vs Caca”? Straight toilet humour. Not clever, but always funny.

For a grindcore band, there isn’t much grind on this album, so it looks like full on pig squeal pornogrind track “La Ch'nille” was thrown in as a reminder of what these guys can do when they put their minds to it.

And just to wind up this whole crazy, mostly illogical album, “Évier Metal” is a near five minute ode to a kitchen tap or sink, or some combination of the two (I don’t fucking know, I’m not French!) simply because the name Évier Metal sounds a lot like heavy metal. As stupid as it sounds, it’s a fucking banging straight up trad metal anthem.

All in all, it’s really best to just listen and enjoy, and not try too hard to understand exactly what these guys are on about. Making “Panzer Surprise!” a covers album would have been too easy and a bit dull. A parody album like this is far superior. Completely fucking insane.

BRUTAL TRUTH Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses

Album · 1992 · Deathgrind
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SilentScream213
Yes! Finally! A band takes the potential of Grindcore and uses it right!

Brutal Truth’s debut is full of extreme high-energy tracks stock full of insane riffage! There is a huge Death/Thrash influence to this thing, and the riffs are super evil sounding despite the wholly political nature of the album. And thank goodness, for once a Grindcore vocalist enunciates, those politically charged lyrics are easy to follow. The vocals aren’t really special in themselves but they get credit for doing what 95% of Grindcore can’t by being god damn intelligible.

The real sauce here is the musicianship, and holy hell these guys can play. I mentioned the riffage earlier, and it is air-tight. Guitar and bass shred along at insane speeds, ripping off the best riffs I’ve heard in the genre yet. The drumming is inhuman, the blast-beats are probably the fastest I’ve heard yet, and actually manage to be on-time (if not incredibly precise). However, the drums are usually not so much sonic aggression as to drown out the tasty riffs, and the guy knows when to play extreme and when to serve the music. Huge plus!

Incredibly awesome Deathgrind and my personal favorite Grindcore album as of its release.

BLOOD FREAK Multiplex Massacre

Album · 2007 · Grindcore
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UMUR
"Multiplex Massacre" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, Oregon based grindcore/death metal act Blood Freak. The album was released through Razorback Records in April 2007. It´s the successor to "Live Fast, Die Young... And Leave a Flesh Eating Corpse!" from 2006. Blood Freak is a one-man act consisting of "Maniac" Neil Smith, who performs all vocals and instruments on the album. Smith also recorded, produced, and mixed the album himself, at his own Midnight Mania Studios.

Smith already showed great promise with Blood Freak´s debut album "Sleaze Merchants (2003)" and that promise was fullfilled on "Live Fast, Die Young... And Leave a Flesh Eating Corpse! (2006)". "Multiplex Massacre" further expands on the goregrind/death metal style of the two predessesors and Smith successfully incorporate elements from both thrash, traditional heavy metal, and doom metal, to the core goregrind/death metal sound. The vocal style is still strongly influenced by early Carcass and we´re treated to both high pitched aggressive snarling and lower more unintelligible growling. The lyrical subjects are as gory and humourous as ever, which song titles like "Cleavage Cleaver", "If You Have Guts... He Wants Them!", and "Poultry Pervert", are a testimony to.

The material on the 13 track, 33:12 minutes long album are well written, and for the most part catchy and memorable. The use of 70s/80s horror/exploitation movie samples has been scaled back compared to the use of samples on the predecessor. The samples were an important part of that album, but because of the use of new stylistic elements and the variation within tracks that the thrash, trad., and doom metal elements provide the core style with, the samples aren´t missed. "Multiplex Massacre" is filled to the brim with powerful and raw organic riffs and drumming, quite a few well played guitar solos, and the above mentioned "classic" goregrind vocals. The variation between fast blasting goregrind parts and mid-paced death/thrash/heavy metal parts work wonders.

The powerful, raw, and organic sounding production is the icing on the cake. It´s a perfect sound for the material featured on the album. "Multiplex Massacre" is not just one step forward, but two steps forward from the already great predecessors, and Smith really hits something special with this release. While in many ways a relatively standard goregrind/death metal release, there are a lot of ways it´s not. And that´s what makes this one a special listen for fans of the genre, in addition to the high level musicianship, the well sounding production, and the well written material. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.

O.L.D. Lo Flux Tube

Album · 1991 · Grindcore
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SilentScream213
Old took a huge leap on this one. Their debut album was a generic Grindcore album that attempted and mostly failed at being edgy and humorous. This is… an Avant-Garde Industrial Metal album with hints of Grindcore, Progressive Metal, and general insanity…

This album is not only much weirder and more unique, but just generally much better. The playing is solid, songwriting is interesting and varied, and the production is much stronger. A great example of a joke band getting serious and making something both interesting and awesome. This thing is filled with manic energy and mutated dystopian future vibes, all done very well. Not always my cup of tea, but always at least preformed with strong execution.

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.

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