Monuments of Cruelty (Review: Dead Instrument, Violent Death 2012)

So Danish Grindcore is a phrase that manages to trigger a hapless response of silence with even the most learned grind scholar drawing a blank to name a band, with the possible recent exception for the more eagle eyed in regards to Sardonic Death’s grindcore rerelease on Grindcore Karaoke. However quality always trumps quantity, and from the viciously conflagrant output of Dead Instruments LP, Violent Death if you succeed in fanning out the flames of this grindcore bonfire the release so liberally showers at you, you are like to never forget the experience, nor fail henceforth to remember at least 1 Danish grind band.

Lurching to an overwhelming downpour of rabid lunatic bawls invested in screeching forth a vocal cord shredding performance on the mid-high register and likely averaging a ridiculous number of words per minute, the vocals are the initial point of confrontation and without a doubt the most unsettling feature of the release, bellowing down your ears as if the berserker vocalist and his doppelganger were positioned either side of your head and personally attempting to deafen you the listener.  An austere handle on vocals that only reinforces the fortified expression of odium, brewed forth from the crannogs of malapropism, the musicians so willingly and intriguingly fashion to their own belligerent ends.

What fascinates me most about the release is the methodologies of articulation and their end result, if we were to observe the blastful moments we a see a slick to and fro, conjoining a serrated blur of background riffs, with a fruitful deliverance of drums and harsh squalls; sounds pretty standard? However the brevity of character, guitar tone, choice of riffs and static vocal output detract from traditional grind brutism as exploited by contemporaries like Amputee, Cellgraft etc, but gives the release a sharp piercing mannerism, one that is exceptionally welcome and pouring new blood in an old genre. A second and equally important example of differentiation that builds character and charm, is how the release assimilates the short snippets that at face value pose little if any grind value and then proceed to surgically bind them into the overall fold of the release, being a constant thread across the rest of the track whilst not compromising the fast paced grind rampage.

The nice artistic touches give much dimension of character to the release in a very satisfying way, breaking away from traditional grind structures whilst still preserving the orthodoxy and canon to which grinds necessitates. Whilst these stylistic success are evidently a by-product of  a high level of musicianship and the ability to create and maintain complex interlacing strands of melody, it would be gravely false to affiliate them as a sincerity in what otherwise is a hot bed of sharp fast paced stabs of grind, instead being the odd mace swing to the face instead.

If you are a glutton for audio punishment Dead Instruments offer much meat on that bone, but spiced into something new and tantalising, something I recommend you consider feasting for yourselves. Considering this is the band’s second full length, and have already developed a full bodied independence of sound, I very much look forward to hearing to what heights they take it to, because this likely is just the first course of many to come.

Oh and don’t forget Danish Grindcore!

Raw Birth Records