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TO Staff – Grindcore Highlights (Pt. 3)

Whoa! We have a third compilation of grindcore albums already? I guess the staff here at Transcending Obscurity take their grindcore really seriously. Or maybe the fact that grindcore albums are easier to consume compared to other styles, makes it easier to identify worthy grindcore albums at a faster rate. Whatever the case is, the way I see it, one can never have enough grindcore in one’s life. So we present to you, part 3 of the grindcore highlights list featuring albums that you should be streaming / buying right now if you’re a fan of this extreme style. ~ Shrivatsan R (Deputy Editor)

Asphalt Graves (USA) – The New Primitive (Vitriol Records)


What happens when you get current and former members of Misery Index, The Black Dahlia Murder, GWAR, and War Torn together to form a new band? If you were thinking a killer death/grind band based on the Misery Index name drop, you’d be right on the money with Asphalt Graves. Though they certainly share their similarities with the latter, especially given the fact that Jason Netherton handles vocals for both groups, but Asphalt Graves manages to distinguish themselves on their debut ‘The New Primitive’. From start to finish this album is downright ferocious, hitting with a level of blistering intensity and chaos that recalls the death/grind acts that pioneered the genres so many years ago. There’s substance behind the attack too, with a good number of breaks and standout riffs to the fourteen songs that make the material a bit more distinguishable than you might expect. Here’s hoping that this supergroup sticks around and that this is a band name we continue to see in the years to come. ~ Chris Dahlberg

Boycott the Baptist (UK) – Bash the Bishop (Self Released)


Showcasing a heady mix of grindcore and powerviolence, Boycott the Baptist’s place on this list can be justified by how incredibly fun they are. The band’s debut ‘Bash the Bishop’ contains 15 tracks of hard hitting grind that borrows a lot of elements from powerviolence and hardcore. For most parts, the tracks are mid paced and focus is on sheer heaviness of the music which the band achieves with the help of occasional slams and breakdowns, and at the same time they make sure that these elements are not overbearing. The grinding riffs which are present here, feel like chainsaws slowly drilling through the listener’s head. The samples used manage to evoke a snicker or two and the tone in general is bit more comedic than usual . All in all, this is a really fun way to kill 15 minutes of one’s time. ~ Shrivatsan R

Cancerous Womb (UK) – It Came to This (Rising Nemesis Records)


Scotland’s Cancerous Womb have been playing brutal death / grindcore for about 8 years now and their music is replete with grinding riffs, relentless blast beats and sudden, unexpected shifts in riffs. The band’s latest output is a short 12 minute EP called ‘It Came to This’. Compared to their full length which came out a couple of years ago, this EP is a bit heavier on the grind side with tracks exhibiting a higher degree of eclectic nature. The vocals tend to be more brutal death like and the tracks are generally longer than the other albums on this list. The constant riff changes however, makes it feel like a bunch of short grind tracks seamlessly stitched together. This EP is nice little record that should help tide the fans over until the next full length drops. Do check this out if you like cacophonous riffs mixed with some solid brutal death tendencies. ~ Shrivatsan R.

Grind of the Dead (USA) – Pussy Jamz (Self Released)


What good is a grind album if it is not shocking, disgusting and downright visceral! Grind of the Dead manage to hit every expectation with their debut ‘Pussy Jamz’. Packing 40 short tracks of spastic, disgusting grind, the band shows multiple sides to their songwriting. Sometimes political, but often disgusting, the album has something for every grind fanatic. The short eclectic tracks offer great mileage to the album and repeat listens only enhance the fun. It takes a sick sense of humor to appreciate this album, and maybe that is why I can’t stop listening to this. This is an album your mom would definitely never approve of. But if any of the above statements tempt you, then I highly recommend you pick this up right away. ~ Shrivatsan R.

Nuclear Holocaust (Poland) – Overkill Commando (Selfmadegod Records)


You can always count on Selfmadegod to deliver some noteworthy European grind, and Nuclear Holocaust is no exception. What might surprise you as you listen to ‘Overkill Commando’, the Polish band’s full length debut, is that these guys have only been around since last year. The reason that I say this is because how polished and tight the material is throughout the course of the album, as not only are the production values razor sharp but the instrumental work is a lot more precise than is typical for newer grind bands. Coming in at a little under half an hour, Nuclear Holocaust’s debut does its best to pummel you into submission while still switching up the riffing enough to have standout moments. The vocals come in with screaming that feels like it’s going to tear you to pieces, and this plays a big role in allowing ‘Overkill Commando’ to leave destruction in its wake. I can’t wait to see where these guys go from here if they’re already this strong on album #1. ~ Chris Dahlberg

Pigskinner (Greece) – Leech (Coyote Records)


Grindcore, brutal death metal, metallic punk: these are the main ingredients that go into a band like Pigskinner. A band intent on nothing less then rocking out and, well…probably skinning pigs. My brother-in-law is in law enforcement, so hopefully they mean of the animal variety. The vocals are a contemptuous, guttural grunt straight out of the brutal death camp. Good luck deciphering any lyrics on this one. I hate to keep making the same pun, but you’d have better luck translating for a pig being skinned alive. But the real star of the show here is the guitar. Damn these riffs are groovy. New split coming soon. ~ FlightOfIcarus

Rectal Smegma (Netherlands) – Gnork (Rotten Roll Rex)


Rectal Smegma has been a fixture in the Dutch goregrind scene since 2003, and their latest album ‘Gnork’ has everything you could possibly want. Compared to some of the other goregrind bands out there, these guys have always had a little bit more of a death metal skew to their music, adding in some slamming breaks into their grind madness. The riffs continually pummel the listener, and the production values are surprisingly strong for a genre where clarity of recordings isn’t often a priority. Even at a little half an hour they never fall into repetition and there’s always something to hold your attention, particularly when it comes to the low pitched gurgles and higher screams that sound genuinely inhuman. Goregrind’s at its best when its heavy hitting, brutal, and downright weird and Rectal Smegma has all of these elements which makes them fun as hell to listen to. ~ Chris Dahlberg

Sonic Poison (Finland) – Harsh Demonstration (Caligari Records)


Taking grindcore back to it’s primordial stage, Finnish entity Sonic Poison dish out old school grinding goodness, evoking the memories of bands like Terrorizer and Repulsion. With a healthy dose of noise included, Sonic Poison hits that sweet spot where thrashy death metal meets punk rock to form a grinding maelstrom of riffs. The band keeps it short and to the point, with the EP clocking in under 10 minutes. The production on the EP makes it sound like it came out in the late 80’s with the HM-2 tone rendering the riffs into a cacophony of chainsaws. ‘Harsh Demonstration’ is a simple, old school grind record that captures the early sounds of the style in a very destructive and raw package. ~ Shrivatsan R.

Stheno (Greece) – Liberty Crawls in Waste (Everydayhate Records)


The debut album from this Greek grindcore band is a thing of depraved beauty. Blackened ultra-violence and nasty savagery has rarely sounded so good. With ferocious growls and face-shredding screams, this is 20 minutes of sonic excess that actually stands out for its surprising sophistication as well as its brutality; this is well-written grind with various changes in speed, mood, sub-genre type and dynamics that probably only connoisseurs of the style will recognize. This is such an enjoyable release that it’s easy to just play it again after it has immediately finished. The mark of good music, it’d say. ~ Nigel Holloway



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