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SPECIAL FEATURE: Grindcore highlights Pt. 2

Grindcore is a niche genre and there are few writing about it. Reason enough then for us to put up an article highlighting the promising ones from all over the world. This is a continuation of the ‘Grindcore highlights of 2015’ feature on Transcending Obscurity that was focusing only on releases from last year, but this one covers the new ones as well as a few other great ones that were overlooked. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to support the artists/labels.

Marginal (Belgium) – Chaos and Anarchy (Helldprod, 2015)


Featuring members of one of Belgium’s best (and most underrated) death metal band, Suhrim, Marginal take a different direction, playing grind/crust with that raw appeal and power intact. Upon multiple listens of this album, all doubts are dissipated and dawns the realization that they’re a force to be reckoned with. The intent is pure, the execution impeccable, and they keep churning out riff upon riff of grinding awesomeness. The music brings to mind onslaughts of early Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, Disfear and Skitsystem. That’s as good as it gets. The sound is thick, the vocals are hoarse, and the flavour is just right. ‘Chaos and Anarchy’ is a well-thought affair, superbly tempered, paced, and also delivered. The experience of the band members shows on the record here and it’s this that will take the band forward. Grind/crust without any bullshit frills or trendy nonsense. Powerful and lethal, just as it should be. – Kunal Choksi (editor)

Marginal Facebook | HellDProd Official Site

Wake (Canada) – ‘Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow’ (EveryDayHate/Sentient Ruin/7 Degrees Records/Nerve Altar, 2016)

In recent times, grindcore is witnessing a renaissance of sorts with modern grind bands producing their own interpretations of the style, giving rise to sub genres like avant-grind. Though bands like !T.O.O.H! explored similar avenues back in the day, the number of bands willing to push the boundaries of the style is much more today. The latest in this breed is the Canadian grinders Wake. Their newest release ‘Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow’ is a refreshing take on the grindcore style without losing any of the intensity the style is known for. Combining the raging fury of Nasum and adding a dissonant and eclectic touch to it, Wake’s music is an interesting mix. Apart from adding influences of black and sludge metal, the band is also proficient in playing around with weird time signatures and eclectic tempo changes. The dissonance of the rhythm ties these layers together to provide a cohesive sound. The sharp, semi technical riffs have a punchy quality to them and in a span of just 8 short tracks Wake takes the listener through moments of furious blastbeats, intricate, yet crazy song flow and sections of hypnotic dissonance. This record comes as a hidden gem, in what has so far been a dull start to the year. – Shrivatsan Ragavan

 EveryDayHate Records | Sentient Ruin Laboratories | 7 Degrees Records | Nerve Altar | Wake Facebook 

XrepeatX (India) – ‘Self-titled’ (Self-released, 2016)


Members of the well-known underground grind band from India, Grossty, form a new grindcore/powerviolence group called XrepeatX. Man, this is probably the most exhilarating music I’ve heard come out of my country, after perhaps witnessing the live performances of Grossty (similar-paced but somewhat unique, goofy, crazed-out grind). Lasting for just under five minutes, this EP reminds me of the infamous one released by Last Days of Humanity called ‘In Advanced Haemorrhaging Conditions’ which set a new standard back when it came out. The intensity is similar, although there are powerviolence influences, reminiscent of say Yacopsae. Influences aside, this is a non-stop barrage of extreme music, but that’s not all, for it’s well-timed and punctuated with earth-heaving tempo changes, just enough for you to raise the foot off your pedal and press it down once again at full speed, if you’re doing that sort of risky thing while listening to XrepeatX. This is the new face of Indian grindcore – it blows everyone else out of the water. The music is albeit too straightforward but for the moment it works like an idea. The intensity is undiluted, unmatched, and the band members also know how to throw a few hooks along the way. Batshit insane. – Kunal Choksi (editor)

XrepeatX Facebook

Grieta (Argentina) – ‘Caducar’ (Self-Released, 2016)


In the world of powerviolence and grindcore the voice of struggle and protest is universal. Buenos Aires, Argentina combo Grieta (Catalan for fissure, or rift) released its debut this year after a demo and a single in 2015. The tactfully named ‘Caducar’ (expired) is as subtle as a sledgehammer to the cranium. In little over 18 minutes the Argentinians blast, stomp and tear their way through 18 songs of rightful indignation at the world around them. Rife with influence from Boddicker, Nasum and classic Hemdale ‘Caducar’ is equal parts powerviolence and grindcore. The lyrics largely spit venom at socio-political issues of the home country, and personal subjects. The production is typically earthen with rich bass tones, and a massive drum sound that recalls the collected work of Hemdale on ‘Rad Jackson’. In keeping with the band’s minimal approach to its music and production, the artwork is a hand-drawn piece. – Wouter Roemers 

Perfecitizen (Czech Republic) – ‘Corten’ (Self-Released, 2015)

As if grindcore in its original incarnation wasn’t crazy enough, we now have bands like Perfecitizen adding intense technicality in the riffing. Born from the ashes of Czech band Alienation Mental, this brutal death / grind outfit released their second full length ‘Corten’ last year. Packed with tech death meets grindcore riffs and a penchant for odd time signatures the record is as savage as it is complex. The buzzsaw riffs have a slamming quality to it. The songs are a bit longer (as far grind songs go) at 3 to 4 minutes and Perfecitizen’s style justifies the length with the amount of technicality that is packed into the tracks. The member’s background in brutal / tech death is clearly felt here, but this time in a more grindcore setting. I guess this is what happens when brutal death, grindcore and tech death all decide to get into a cocaine fuelled orgy. – Shrivatsan Ragavan 

Methadone Abortion Clinic (US) – Sex, Drugs and Rotten Holes (Bizarre Leprous, 2015)


Good goregrind is hard to come by these days. Last year it were Grunt, spicing things up with their bondage attire and industrial-laced grooves and brutality. On the same label, the debut full length of Methadone Abortion Clinic emerges, and now if only Biological Monstrosity were to do the same, I’d die a happy man. So Methadrone Abortion Clinic (MAC) here are incorporating a lot of ‘death metal’ riffing in their mix, and that’s always welcome, because it gives more substance than just the good ol’ splatter/grooves. It’s reminiscent of Lord Gore and even of Rompeprop, and can be called a mix of that overall. The album isn’t a plain one-trick pony, because the songs are quite varying in both pace and intent. Some prefer to dwell in the gory death metal slime while others like say Slumlord of the Cock Rings blast their way in typical goregrind fashion not unlike early Last Days of Humanity. Overall, this is a very potent and delectable slab of death metal-inclined goregrind and anyone who can dig pitch-shifted vocals should definitely get a high from this. It’s quite hypocritical to enjoy the sloppiest brutal death metal music with overly misogynist themes but when it comes to something fantastically concocted with ample grooves and blasts, not to mention rare oomph, like Methadone Abortion Clinic, you are tempted to throw a genre-bias fit. Shut up and lap this up, all of it, like an obedient dog. Recommended. – Kunal Choksi (editor)

Methadone Abortion Clinic Facebook | Bizarre Leprous Productions

Helmsplitter (US)/The Communion (US) – Great Violence and Hidden Depths (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, 2015)

Although Helmsplitter aren’t technically grindcore (that would be black/thrash/death metal) but over here they seem to complement the grind band The Communion strangely well, so they deserve a mention due to this joint release. It’s fun to spot the influences but that wouldn’t serve much of a purpose, since the band have done a commendable job infusing elements of all the three metal genres and tossing up a potent and well-concocted slab of gnarly music. Their five songs are grimy, fast and keep varying without diminishing the overall appeal – this sound goes hand-in-hand with the raw and similar-paced, sometimes thrash-laced grind music peddled in recent times by many bands like say P.L.F. and even Captain Cleanoff to an extent. A worthy effort indeed. The Communion on the other hand, are reminiscent of the German grind group Mindflair, what with their ‘pressurized’ sludge-laden crushing tunes delivered with mind-numbing ferocity. Soilent Green also spring to mind, and that’s just as well. The tunes of this band are devastating and strangely thrilling as well. This is one ride you’d want to remain latched on to. Both US bands have a strong future ahead of them, and I bet they are great live as well. The Communion would do well to pick up the pace ofttimes, as the intended purpose is to play grindcore perchance, but the sludginess adds extra power and force to the delivery indeed. A very entertaining release overall, and is recommended as well. – Kunal Choksi (editor)


Organ Dealer (US) – Visceral Infection (Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, 2015)


New kids on the block, Organ Dealer, release a stunning debut in ‘Visceral Infection’. Riff-based, the band charge forward not letting chaos take over completely. And that’s how it should be, for too many bands indulge in chaos-worship and lose their way halfway into the album. ‘Visceral Infection’ remains gripping, as the band incorporate various twists and turns, and I daresay, even explore a bit of dissonant writing in their compositions, with the result being a well-concocted, challenging and thorough record. Death metal influences are perceivable in the intricate songwriting but they never overpower the predominant grind outlook. Their music is reminiscent of many bands, from Nasum and Rotten Sound to even Brutal Truth and Gridlink, and that’s a healthy sign. It has elements from all types of grind, so to speak. It will be interesting to see where Organ Dealer go from here, having cemented their place in the US grind scene. Here’s hoping not all is lost in the pursuit of increasingly complicated songwriting, for grind ultimately needs that unhinged cathartic quality to work. – Kunal Choksi (editor)



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