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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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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?

CRETIN Cretanic Grind Ambush

EP · 2004 · Grindcore
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"Cretanic Grind Ambush" is an EP release by US, California based grindcore act Cretin. The EP was released through Relapse Records in August 2004. Cretin was formed as far back as 1992 but disbanded again in 1996 without releasing anything, as a consequence of bassist Matt Widener joining the marines and lead vocalist/guitarist Dan Martinez working in the video game industry. They reunited in 2001 though and "Cretanic Grind Ambush" is their first official label release (they released the "Extreme Cretanic Grindcore" demo in 2003). "Cretanic Grind Ambush" is actually a re-release of the "Extreme Cretanic Grindcore (2003)" demo with an extra track ("Pee Spree"). So if you already have the 3 track demo, "Pee Spree" is the only new track you get on "Cretanic Grind Ambush".

Stylistically the material on the album is raw, distorted, fast-paced and loud as hell grindcore, delivered with fierce aggression. Repulsion is obviously the main influence here, but it´s not something the band are trying to hide or are ashamed of, and they shouldn´t be, because they deliver their music with great conviction and passion, which is usually of much greater importance in grindcore than originality. When that is said Cretin still manage to put their own spin on their Repulsion influenced grindcore style, so they are not a clone band.

In true grindcore style neither of the four tracks exceed the 2 minutes mark and the EP is almost over before it began (total time 6:24 minutes). Thankfully you´re left with the feeling that you want more, which is almost always a sure sign of quality. Cretin are a well playing bunch, and no matter how fast or how filthy and raw the music is, they perform their parts with precision but also with the right organic touch. Martinez has a raw and aggressive vocal style, which puts the icing on the cake in regards to creating the most vile and filthy atmosphere as possible. The sound production is very raw and noisy, but not in a messy lo-fi way. On the contrary you´re fully able to hear details in the mix, and the production suits the music perfectly.

So upon conclusion "Cretanic Grind Ambush" is a short but sweet first label release by Cretin and a promising start to their career. They may not get that many points for originality but fully make up for it in caustic aggression and hellish intensity. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.


EP · 2016 · Grindcore
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siLLy puPPy
GOUGED is an extreme metal band that formed in St. George, Utah and has since relocated to Salt Lake City. This band crafts a murky mix of grindcore and death metal with elements of doom. So far the band has only released this one self-titled EP which runs over the seven minute mark so actually can be considered a demo. The band consists of Andrew Patterson (bass, vocals), Ben Finley (guitar), Dylan Huff (guitar, vocals) andJordan Strang (drums, vocals.) This EP has so far only been released digitally on the band’s Bandcamp page and given the scant info available remains a mystery as to the appearance of future releases.

This EP delivers a whomping seven minutes plus of pure core brutality with filthy muddy guitar stomps that reverberate darkness and despair. The six tracks are all quite short with the lengthiest “Blind To The Pain” just shy of the two minute mark. While considered grindcore the tempo is slowed down and resembles death doom metal bands at timed but when the axe murderer freneticism breaks free, the core elements explode like warehouses of nuclear arsenals. The production is raw and the vocals are screamed through the din and unintelligible. Also the compositions are somewhat labyrinthine at times with technical drumming skills. The guitar and bass fuse to form a united distortion.

Often while the massive uproar banters on there are squealing guitar sounds that add a fingernails on the chalkboard sort of irritant. The entire EP is only over seven minutes long but sounds like an album’s worth of aggressive fury condensed into its pure essence. This is a cool muddy darkened metal experience that is as occult sounding as the bitchin’ album cover it sports. While there must be some symbology of the cadaver holding a noose with a floating skull and pig’s head, it just looks freaky and implies some sort of underworld tarot cards of some sort. Nothing on here is OMG original but rather well performed and casts a darkened spell that is satisfying. Definitely makes me look forward to a future release of some sort.

AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED Agoraphobic Nosebleed (1)

EP · 1996 · Cybergrind
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"Agoraphobic Nosebleed" is an EP release by US grindcore act Agoraphobic Nosebleed. The EP was released through Bovine Records in 1996 and is a re-release of the band´s 30 song demo from 1995. It´s the band´s first label release. Agoraphobic Nosebleed was formed in 1994 in Springfield, Massachusetts and at that point it was a one-man project featuring Scott Hull (guitars, programming). The vocals on the EP are delivered by various vocalists.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed are often referred to as a drum-machine grindcore band, as a consequence of the drums being programmed. That´s just one of the components which make up their sound though, and often people focus way too much on that feature when describing the music. So let´s get it out of the way. Yes the drums are programmed and no it´s not that apparent as Hull is a skilled programmer, and the drums are produced in a way where they sound relatively "normal".

Stylistically the music on the 30 track EP is aggressive and fast grindcore with raw distorted shouting vocals. Often the tracks are only a few seconds or maybe half a minute long, and it´s a release that is best enjoyed in full instead of track by track. It´s a relatively one-dimensional release but you´re still kept on your toes throughout the playing time as a consequence of the short bursts of insane brutality and raw aggression. The few times the pace is slowed down a bit, it feels like welcome breathers, but those moments are few and far between. The lyrics are typically sparse and often repeated words instead of longer meaningful sentences, but you´ll get an idea of what they are about from songtitles like "Eyes Like Two Pissholes in the Snow", "Fucking Move, Prick", and "If You Thought Elvis Was Good Live (Wait 'Til You See Him Dead)". These guys are pissed, but still deliver their message with a bizarre gleam in the eye.

The sound production is decent for the genre, and suits the music well. Raw, unpolished, and "In Your Face" like it´s supposed to sound. Overall it´s not the most exciting or original sounding grindcore release out there, but it´s obvious there´s some thought and talent behind the compositions and that counts for something. A bit more variation and more compositions which last for more than a few seconds could also have been nice, but as it is, the EP is still an interesting listen, and a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

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