2012

Review: Jagernaut / Terlarang, 2012

Greek crust behemoths Jagernaut bring forth their very own apocalypse through the tried and tested yet timeless methodology of grind infused punk vitiriol. Their half of the split is packed with more clamour and filth than a room full of politicians, and their rhythmic qualities exude the classic bottomed out crust qualities stooped in nauseating thickness and dishevelled conferral, tirelessly vomiting out dank Doom idolatory minus the 90's guitar fuzz, like the great defilers of peace they are. True to their heritage a thick slather of vocal vulgarity screams and roars all manner of malice to the horrors of the world completing the ethos whilst adding another branch of horror to this gritty yet fulfilling piece of virulence.

Malaysia's Teralang occupy a completely different yet equally fulfilling portion of the extreme punk spectrum, where Jagernaut sought to disgust Teralang seek to invigorate and perhaps even confuse with their madball thrash parade, that stumbles across as a preposterous merger of the likes of Hellnation and XbrainiaX with a load of funky genes thrown in for good measure too. Its goofy fastcore with heaps of awesome, really perky upbeat riffs, psychotic blastbeating and deranged vocal tantrums. You see that brain blasted cow on their side of split? Yeah that's genuinely what happens to you when you listen to this mad raving!

Jagernaut / Terlarang


Rage, Rage against the Dying of the Light (Review: False Light, ST 7" 2013)

There is something wholly necrotic rippling through the powerviolence bloodstream, a  malefic smear that has seen the genre eclipsed in darkness as a new cabal of misers take hold of its artistic reins, cascading it ever deeper into an unknown and seemingly endless subterranean abyss. Among those crepehangers endorsing if not orchestrating this penumbra of punk would be False Light, a dour four piece clinched in a curious squirm between dissonant sludge-bound exhalations and violent seizures of enmity. Vision and execution align precisely on the microscopic parallels as False Light seduce a vast array of nameless phantasms into the coil of their tightly bound claustrophobic covin, antagonizing and brutalizing each and every fragment of musical expenditure in an overzealous exorcism. False Light just reek of unrequited artistic passion bordering on the insane, every kilojoule of energy spent and every decibel ruptured has been compelled towards the continued construction and maintenance of the oily fume laden atmospheric density, nothing ever leaves the paradigm nor does anything foreign ever enter. Despite the insular essentially of it all, there is a positively organic albeit pestilential growth to it, an ever expanding blot of ink that by the end of it will see you quoting Nietzsche and assessing the futility of artistic endeavor

Inaugural track Rotting Teeth is an ordeal of grit punctuated with various mosh moments and knuckle scraping goodness, a jagged mode of operation that resurfaces with the physical penultimate track Lung, whilst tracks such as The Great Unwashed and Praxis are far more rigid in their uncompromising attitude, hemorrhaging ire and ichor as a result of continuous musical self mutilation, and lest we forget 36 second sprinter Almighty Thief that jumps on the offensive with a blast beat blitzkreig. Alas 7" of wax couldn't hold what would of been their dirge-ing finale ///, an almost 6 minute epoch of lamentation and echoes in the jaws of darkness, a drop-me down that shares little in the way of form from and presentation to its predeceasing tracks yet all of its grizzly vision. 

False Light

Dead Chemists Records / Headfirst! Records

Grindviolence Forever (Review: Rabies / Chulo 7", 2012)

Rabies / Chulo

I don't think I have ever seen such a large collaboration of labels centred on one release, discogs lists no less than 23 labels involved in the release, the logistics must of been an absolute nightmare for the go to, let alone postage costs; even so the pairing proves to be one well worth all the hassle.

First up we have Rabies from the Czech Republic; a country which pretty much permeates quality grindcore as if the entire countries very survival was dependent on it; needless to say Rabies fit the national paradigm. This is my first exposure to the band, and all I have to say is that if they play as hard on every other release as they do on this one I am disgusted with myself for not having heard of them earlier. It’s undeniably adrenaline-junkie type fastcore, deep in Hellnation territory in content, but somewhere in the middle of Lärm and Hellnation in texture, and operating on a higher register. Its wholly invigorating and crisp in delivery, the moderate production values give a nice simmering overlay, the right amount of punk to noise ratio for simultaneous heart and ear drum rupture!

Colombia’s Finest Chulo muscle in on the other half, their incensed grindviolence composite still as callous as ever. I was particular fond of the “easter egg” type nods in their work, opening track No futuro is their equivalent to the opening sequence of Spazz’s Let’s Fucking Go, sampling the same phrase from a variety of bands and performances into one singular piece to which the band have struck no note or screamed no indignation, yet gives an incredible starting momentum. The second instance would be in the track title Hey Rot, a mincecore practice of Hey – (Insert Band)  I believe first started by Archagathus in Hey Agathocles , a sort of shout out to a band, usually one that has been influential musically on the performing band; here are a few other examples ( 1 , 2, 3 ). Musically though they continue their blunt delivery of low-bred feral punk: clanging drum work, ricochet riffs and vulgar screams remain constants, and continue the lead set in Hombre Vs Tombo infusing snippets of the Afternoon Gentlemen, and offering better production values compared to their more rudimentary, but equally crucial back catalogue. Chulo might be becoming more cultured in identity, but they are by no means any less fierce. 

Chulo / Rabies

List of Labels

I See Death (Review: Bastinado, Songs From the Abattoir 2012)

Bastinado - Songs from the Abbatoir

I don't want to paint with a broad brush here, but to my working knowledge I am pretty sure nigh on every Finnish grind band is predisposed into using  the same guitar set up, Death Toll 80K being the big exception to the rule. That endemic guitar tone is stout but humming with tension and able to cut its way cleanly into the front lines and preserve form regardless of how rampageous it gets down there; its exactly why Rotten Sound, Feastem et al excel when at full tilt, because nothing skews, snaps or gets buried under the compression - more intensity, at no audible loss is a win-win scenario. The string presentation constant is probably why every damn blogger (myself included) has the compulsion to bring up a comparison to Rotten Sound anytime a Finnish Grind band hits our review queue, and I am not even complaining because its a great construct, which can begin to work wonders in parallel to the other Finnish habit of highly polished audio-legibility, presentation firstly and foremost a highly formalised state of affairs. 

So it should amount to no surprise that Finnish Deathgrind merchants Bastinado adhere to the Finlands extreme metal rubric as listed above with as much wanton ferocity as North Korea keeps to its Nuclear Program. Although there is some fruitful cross pollination between grind and death metal among its genealogy, death metal is by far the dominant gene pool in action, making little secret of its Gothenburg paternality even if it comes from the shadier corners of the prestigious genre tree, conversely Rotten Sound is a far flung ancestor whose genes for the most part are far too removed and fractionalised, however once in a while Bastinados find themselves seeing red as per the Rotten Sound temper, a familial curse that gives them an additional pulverizing force at certain make or break moments. It chugs and it rivets, it crunches riffs, thumps the drums with clockwork precision and it howls, its a pretty standard death metal set up to my knowledge to which I have no complaints, but nor may I offer it any standing ovations. All things considered death metal as a whole fails to exhort anything beyond an unispiring ok from me nowadays, but this managed to climb up to something I would willingly call mildly interesting or good and even across numerous listens hasn't allowed me to find a chink in the armour. So if you are impartial to a bit of death metal or at the very least curios, a courtesy listen wont go astray here.

Bastinado

Thrashcore is my Mistress (Review: Yattai, Fast Music Means Love 2013)

Yattai - Fast Music Means Love

Whether you perceive it as a pitfall or not, when the foot slams on the pedal most fastcore shares that indistinguishable guitar blur as all those riffs lament into one another, the odd astounding one jumping ahead of the stampede, hooking you for a moment or two before being trampled back into the swing of things, a cycle which repeats itself in perpetuum; Such was the paradigm of fastcore. Inverting this schematic by offering concise, clear and catchy riffs one after the other without any inclination towards industrial blandness or repetition would be French posthaste grindcore inclined fastcore greyhounds Yattai. 

I would hesitate to call it a game-changing reformulation despite its heavy departure from tradition, not only in light of its capsized presentation, but also in that unlike most fastcore acts who tend to draw inspiration from parent and sister genres: hardcore and powerviolence, Yattai take their inspirations from less canonical, but equally valid sources such as Grindcore and death metal; ultimately giving fastcore one of its most refreshing face lifts to date. All genre pandering aside, Yattai's unorthodox method is of comparable strength to other fastcore players, and have even gone so far as to have penned their own innate eccentricity; a hallmark often found in the best of the fastcore buffs, although no where near as barking mad as Quattro Stagioni or Hellnation, nor on the same level of awesomeness, the certifiably insane madness puts a flavour in motion that's easily lapped up and thoroughly enjoyed throughout, and often serves as a line of connectivity across all those speedball passages they whisk through. 

Its rampantly fast, and manages to tout a fine line between managing its impulsiveness and being well thought out giving them the right amount of push in development, but also very good at keeping the listener on their toes. Furthermore there is an inherent twangy groove in the cogs too, one set in a wiry frame and contributing the overall edginess and another push into the left of centre play field they gambol around. Contagious riffs aside (although there as some truly succulent Magrudergrind type power chord crunching types to tear into), the vocals and drum work don't slack off and make equally valid contributions to Yattai's flagrant meanders. Vocals are spot on, nothing too extreme nor guttural just sensical shouts that amplify the mood and disperse any tension, and the drum work present is exceptionally excitable and diverse, offering a really nice variation of blasts, at no point slipping into meaningless or serving as an instrumental metronome. Everything just gels together rather attractively and culminates in what is a really well rounded product, a must have for any fans of fast music, and if one you dare bitches it ain't punk enough to be fastcore: ta gueule putain!

Bandcamp / Facebook