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

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.

CATTLE DECAPITATION Human Jerky

EP · 1999 · Grindcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Human Jerky" is an EP release by US, San Diego, California based grindcore/death metal act Cattle Decapitation. The EP was released through Satan's Pimp/Three One G Records in 1999. The band released the "Ten Torments of the Damned" demo in 1997, but "Human Jerky" is their first label release, predating their 2000 debut full-length studio album "Homovore".

Stylistically the 18 tracks on the 18:49 minutes long EP are pretty raw and noisy grindcore with politically charged and gory animal rights/anti-human lyrics. The vocals are rather extreme though and often multible extreme vocal styles are utilized at the same time in a layered fashion, which makes the vocal department of the music even more unintelligible. The quality of the material is decent but it´s not the type of release where you´re able to remember much about the tracks after it has finished playing.

The sound production is raw and unpolished, but still clearly professional. The musicianship is solid too, and all in all "Human Jerky" is a decent first label release by Cattle Decapitation. Judging by this release I wouldn´t exactly have guessed future greatness, but it´s a relatively good quality release and a 3 star (60%) 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.

WORMROT Abuse

Album · 2009 · Grindcore
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siLLy puPPy
When you think of Singapore, if you think of it at all (assuming you don’t live there!), you usually associate the balmy equatorial tiny city state as a lush green metropolis famous for its flower gardens and ethnic fusion of all things Asian. Extreme metal is certainly not what comes to mind but perhaps that cool song by Tom Waits does! Throw all those preconceptions out the window. WORMROT changed it all! Not only has this grindcore band put this tiny nation on the map in the world of extreme metal but this band has consistently delivered some of the highest quality examples of this caustic by taking the most hardcore sounds of early Napalm Death and creating a frenetic fury usually reserved for the techiest death metal bands.

Although this band started by five members in 2007, it would take a few demos, EPs and splits to get warmed up for the debut album ABUSE that erupted in 2009 from the city state on the tip of the Malay Peninsula. WORMROT has been terrorizing the uninitiated ever since which proves not to be too difficult thing to achieve in an area of the world that is more enamored with K-pop than the likes of Pig Destroyer. After several founding members jumped ship before this debut, ABUSE features only three members: vocalist Arif, guitarist Rasyid and drummer Fitri but together this power trio creates enough ruckus to wake the dead. WORMROT means business. Seriously.

On the surface WORMROT comes off as just another grindcore band that holds tight to the status quo. You know, frenetically sped up caustic guitar riffs, insane screamed / shouted vocals and percussive pummelation from hell all mixed up with nasty and vicious and often hilarious themes. While not exactly reinventing the wheel, WORMROT nonetheless mastered this demanding metal subgenre with apparent ease and takes the style to uncomfortable extremes. The star of this noisy show is clearly Arif whose vocal range was tailor made for this incessantly heavy musical madness. Between his high pitched screams, emphatic shouts and deathened guttural growls, his graceful transitions between the styles is a testament to the vitality that he carries within. Likewise guitarist Rasyid delivers a non-stop barrage of highly caustic distorted riff assaults that pop off like an AK-47.

Taking the music maturity to the next level would not be possible without the technically infused drumming wizardry of Fitri. While never deviating from the balanced musical flow of the instrumental interplay, this dude punishes his drum set to wickedly wild that he seamlessly delivers an incessant attack while throwing in sophisticated fills that bedazzle the imagination. The culmination of this trio (minus a bass sound but that’s not apparent) is sheer grindcore perfection at least in the delivery system. As i’ve already stated, originality isn’t the name of the game here. There are no weird extra sound flavors like on Pig Destroyer album nor are there deviations from the roller coaster ride of punk infused energy that only misses the 22 minute mark but fueled with high octane freneticism that is unrelenting in its rampage.

In the end, i doubt many grindcore fans are looking for art rock and just want to rock the fucking house with blastbeats, guitar rage and solidly squealed vocals that run the gamut of insane delivers. In that department WORMROT nails it with its exemplary delivery of grindcore splendor. This is a rare case where a band from a primarily non-metal part of the world has done its homework and exceeded its mentors in stamina and determination. This is what modern extreme metal is all about. Incessant energetic performances that are of Olympic athlete perfection. If ever there was a band that would make the perfect mascot for its home on Earache Records, no better candidate than WORMROT comes to mind because it’s not only those wriggling creatures that live in the dirt that will meet their demise. This will cause your brain to decay and force you to like it while it usurps your freewill. Nice job~!

ШУМОВАЯ ЭКЗЕКУЦИЯ Pedicabo Ego Vos et Irrumabo

Album · 2011 · Goregrind
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siLLy puPPy
When wading through the sea of mediocrity with bands that fall into the slam death metal, brutal death metal and grindcore derived camps, it’s always nice to discover a diamond in the rough. More often than not these styles of extreme metal are one-dimensional and treat the music as a competition as would an olympic athlete with the sole focus of making louder, harder, faster and more grotesquely brutal sounds than everyone else. So it’s always a joy to find an album that not only exercises those very athletic abilities of the musicians but also pays attention to making the album interesting!

Sometimes an interesting act comes from a ridiculous unknown setting on planet Earth and that’s exactly the case with ШУМОВАЯ ЭКЗЕКУЦИЯ (shoo-MO-ba-ya ehk-zeh-KOO-tsee-uh) which means The Noise Execution in English. This band formed in 2006 in the extreme western part of Kazakhstan in the mining city of Aktau which sits on the shores of the Caspian Sea. This city that no one has heard of is primary known for its unique block address system where no streets have names and instead addresses only consist of three numbers which is also known as the micro-region block system. But i digress. Apparently this city has angsty youth who want to bang their fucking heads and that’s exactly what this brutal death metal / goregrind group of noisemaking boyz is all about.

The band was formed in 2006 from the ashes of two local bands called Inferno and Endless Maze. The two masterminds of Artem Cheremiskin (vocals, guitars, drum programming) and Vasily Shmelev (bass) have been the main instigators of these brutal sonic assaults. The band released two demos and two EPs before unleashing this noisy debut full-length album PEDICABO EGO VOS ET IRRUMABO which charmingly translate from Latin into “Fuck You Both.” Bwa hahahaha! The band’s lineup was cemented by the time this came out in 2011 and included Artem “Dying Pigus” Goregrinder (vocals, guitars, drum programming), Vassilly “Bass in Face” Punisher (bass), Allen “Speed As Fuck” GUTerrorist (guitars) and DimAnus “Hair Smashed Face” Smoke on vocals. And yes, the music is as fucking crazy as the member’s names.

This is a short album that just squeaks over the 26 minute run but for this style of aggressive and over-the-top incessant rampage of sound, it’s about the right length. Things start off with full bombast that find the rampaging guitar riffs accompanied by pig squeals and deep guttural growls that find that happy zone somewhere between slam death metal and goregrind. The tracks are never very long with only a couple reaching over three minutes. Once again perfect for the densely packed freneticism that occupies almost every moment of this album but the ALMOST part of that statement is what makes this album interesting. True that ШУМОВАЯ ЭКЗЕКУЦИЯ demonstrates a fairly established version of goregrind for the album’s run but it’s the little things that are added to the mix that make this one fun to listen to.

Firstly, there’s a call and response between the guttural growls and the pig squeals so it’s kind of a beast and the beast sort of affair but it’s most rooted in death growls. Secondly, there are all kinds of other styles of metal involved. There are hairpin turns that drive into thrash metal riffing, crust punk, neoclassical guitar solos (think moments of Necrophagist) and weirdest of all a few times when the metal is dropped for some kind of avant-garde jazz with reggae beats most prominently at the end of “Изуродованная блядь.” These surprises are usually brief but effective in catching you attention as even the most brutal metal can be hypnotizing if it’s a one-trick pony the entire duration. Personally i’m lovin’ this one quite a bit. It has all those über-brutal elements of death and core metal but finds enough creative fortitude to mix in myriad elements of surprise. Aktau, Kazakhstan makes good metal. Whodda thunk it?

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