2010 was the year that the world got it's face mercilessly caved in by the sheer metallic awesomeness that was Nails - "Unsilent Death". It was a record that crossed over into a lot of different scenes; it was heavy enough for the metal kids, had brutal mosh riffs for the hardcore fans, and was fast and perfectly bullshit-free enough so that grindheads could get into it too. In my eyes it's a near perfect record, and I continue to jam it to this day. So how do they follow it up after three long years? They do the same thing again, only louder, faster, and heavier! One could argue that "Abandon All Life" is too close to a being a carbon copy of "Unsilent Death"; both have 10 tracks, are under 20 minutes, both have a slower track at the mid-way and end of the album. On the outside, it does look eerily similar (speaking of the outside, I finally figured out what the cover art is, and it makes it a hell of a lot better), but musically, Nails have mixed it up in just enough ways to keep it from being "Unsilent Death Pt. 2". For one, they've gotten a lot faster. The grind influence went up more than a few notches on here, the drums are absolutely pummeling and sound like a full on elephant stampede. A lot more metal too, with some pretty obvious nods to classic death metal bands. The breakdown to the title track, "Abandon All Life", is total Morbid Angel worship, and the Suffocation-style slam riff at the end of "Gods Cold Hands" is fantastically brutish. If anything, I can see a lot of the people that were attracted to the hardcore side of Nails getting turned off here. There are breakdowns galore, but they don't have the primal toughness that "Unslient Death" did. The slower songs also aren't really that spectacular this time around too. The previously mentioned mid-track, "Wide Open Wound", just trudges along with some pretty un-captivating riffs for it's 3+ minute run time. The closer, "Suum Quique", also suffering from a horrible case of endtro-riff-going-on-for-too-long-syndrom (much like "Unsilent Death" actually...huh). Overall though, Nails came back and conquered the first quarter of 2013 with a devastating album, definitely one of the best I've heard all year. Pick this up asap! Hopefully next time we won't have to wait three more years for another 17 minutes of music!
Ladies and gentlemen, after over a year in the making, I am very proud to finally give to you: Operation Grindcore Vol. II!!!!!! I want to thank every band that submitted, got in touch, and helped out with this comp. I thank you all for your patience, some bands have waited over a year for this. I've gotten to know a lot of awesome people by making this, and it would mean the world to me, and to the bands on here, if you listened, downloaded, and/or shared this compilation with the world. There are tons of awesome bands from all over the world on here that no one has heard. Here is the full line-up:
Autopsy On The Horizon
Fuck The Facts
Kindergarden Hazing Ritual
Sifting Through Droppings For Nutrients
Man Will Destroy Himself
Wake The Machines
To The Point
Six Brew Bantha
I tell ya, it feels really really really good too finally get this thing online. It was definitely a lot of hard work, but I loved every minute of it. I really can't stress it enough how grateful I am with the patience that everyone kept while I was getting this all prepared. I hope that you get a lot of enjoyment out of this, and hopefully become a fan of a few new bands too. I wanted to make sure that there were enough awesome bands, from all over the world, who play all styles of grind/powerviolence on here. I think we got a good collection of blasting jams, everyone should find something to enjoy. Thank you all, thank you Oscar, from the awesome band Chulo (who have the 2nd track on this comp.) for the outstanding artwork, and especially thank you to Andrew "OG" Lipscomb for getting me involved in the first place, and creating Vol. I and kickstarting Vol. II. I owe him a lot. CHEERS!!!!!
New Jersey's in the houseeeeee! I'm glad I can finally talk about this band, because I've been a fan of them for a while, but never found the opportunity to properly do a write-up. Dethroned Emperor are an unholy duo from New Brunswick, NJ, and are on the cusp of releasing their first full length record, "Moral Nihility". Deathgrind in the most literal sense of the word, these guys fully embrace any and all OSDM influence into their sound, creating a hybrid of the genre that you don't really hear that often, or executed quite as well. Imagine the bastard child of Incantation and Assück, who has heard his fair share of bestial metal, but learned some technical guitar chops too. If any of that sounds appealing to you, listen to this ASAP. Definitely their best stuff to date, in terms of recording and songcraft. Raise those horns(if you're into that, I don't know..)!
To be honest, when I first heard that there was going to be a new Iron Lung album, I was pretty surprised. I mean, I love the band, and their last album, "Sexless//No Sex" is up there as one of my favorite powerviolence records, but I wasn't really counting the days waiting for a new album from them. That being said, can you believe it's been six years since Iron Lung released a proper full length? For a powerviolence band, that seems like a hell of a long time to come up with an albums worth of material. Not that Iron Lung have been lazy or anything; in between they've done several splits, contributed to compilations, and running their own record label on top of all that, they've definitely been a couple of busy beavers. So now finally, they've graced the world with their 3rd full length, "White Glove Test". An album that could almost be considered 3 different releases, given that it comes with a companion noise/industrial album (if you buy the 2xLP/CD version), and a mash up of the two albums, you certainly get a lot of bang for your buck. At least in terms of the amount of noise that you get..
It's no secret that I have a constant hard on for the Australian grind trio of the Gods, Agents Of Abhorrence. Honestly, they're in my top 10 grindcore bands for me, period. They play a style of grindcore that is just so absolutely up my ally, and such a perfect mix of visceral and creative, that it's impossible not to fall absolutely head over heels in love with everything they do. And if you're like me, you've been waiting for their new album patiently (very patiently), and squealed with orgasmic delight when the band posted TWO brand new tracks on their soundcloud page to stream. You guys, it's finally coming out!!!!!!!!!!! Little by little, more details are starting to be revealed about the new album, which is entitled "Relief", and will be pressed by 625 Thrashcore and Psychocontrol Records. And let me tell you, the two new songs are absolutely, positively, indiscriminately AWESOME!! The recording is absolutely perfect; very full sound, as always, but the guitars have never sounded so beefy and thick! And of course, Ben and Max together just create the perfect guitar/drum assault. The riffs are oh so killer, particularly the on at the end of "Relax", which has a fantastic built up until it explodes into blast beat heaven! The best surprise though are the vocals, which are supplied by Jacob Winkler (also of the Australian Roskopp), who replaced Grant Jones a few years ago and has since left the band. I thought Grant's vocals were absolutely perfect for the band, and that no other vocalist would be able to compare to how well he fit the bands style. When I saw them live with Jacob last year, it didn't help convince me otherwise too, so I was naturally a bit worried. But with the beefier sound, and now that I can, durr, actually hear his vocals (the sound mix at the show was horrible), he definitely does a fantastic job! It's definitely a lower register than Grant's, but fuck me if it's not totally on point for the band. In closing, I'm a happy happy boy right now, and the new album can't come out soon enough.
So, real talk; I've been sitting here for almost an hour trying to figure out how to start this review, and I can't seem to come up with anything witty or captivating, so let me just come clean and cut to the chase about this here new split that's sure to get talked and buzzed about on the internets a lot in the next couple months. Oblivionized and Plague Widow both got a considerable amount of buzz in the last couple years thanks to their debut EP's, and it's not hard to figure out why. The recordings were excellent, the musicianship was incredible and very professional, and they promoted the hell out of themselves to good results. Now the two bands have decided to join together and share a couple new tracks on one piece of hot wax. Oblivionized, now slimmed down to a trio, hit us with two new tracks of technical grinding madness. They describe themselves as "avant-grindcore" on their bandcamp, but for the unfamiliar, going into this expecting something really out there might be a bit let down. They're technical and grindy in the same way bands like Cephalic Carnage are, but more rooted in death metal. The guitars on here screech, skronk and squeal, with tons of high note spazz-out moments, and it's all very impressive, but Oblivionized wisely balance the madness with crushing, power stomping riffs and grooves. Keeping it all spazz all the time would have just made the whole thing rather annoying after a while. It's why I could never really get into bands like Dillinger Escape Plan much. The 2nd track in particular, "Just Show Me How It Ends"; has a riff that kicks off this song that is just bone breaking, and a wonderful blast riff towards the end that gets me pumped every time. Plague Widow on the other hand, bring a whole different breed of insanity to the table. The song's are certainly not as technical as Oblivionized's are (although knowing their guitarists other projects they certainly could be), but they're heavy in the overall grim atmosphere and unrelenting attack. Particularly in regards to the drums, which are so tight, clean and fast that if you told me it was a drum machine I wouldn't doubt you for a second. Fantastically heavy stuff, which is interesting for me to say due to how clean and processed the recording is, which I'm generally not a fan of. I guess that goes to show that Plague Widow are masters of their craft. Though I would have to say my favorite part of there side is the vocals. Fantastically deep growls, reminding me of Travis Ryan at times. They're the rotten cherry on top of this sick platter of death and decay. Great stuff from both bands, definitely one to pick up.
The spring season is quickly closing in, which means new music is starting to come at us faster than a Bryan Fajardo blast beat. The middle part of this year is sure to be an absolute clusterfuck of new releases, some of which I'm very highly anticipating. Such as this new split from the best grindcore husband and wife duo ever, Standing On A Floor of Bodies. These guys released as absolutely killer record last year, and they've told me that they were working on this other split with their friends, Man Among Wolves. Well out of no where, I find out that a new track was posted and that it's coming out on a 10" record! Way to keep me informed guys, gawsh. Nah, but seriously, this new song, entitled "Nothing Wounded Goes Uphill", is a crusher. This is definitely their best and most fleshed out recording yet, and the song is probably one of the best they've written so far. From the length of the track, and the number of songs on their side, it definitely looks like they toy'd around with their trademark brevity, and maybe added a few new ideas to the mix. Can't wait to hear the whole thing and see.
Another 10" release, another duo; the best Philly fastcore band, Backslider, is right on the cusp of releasing their new record, "Consequences", which will be put out by the veteran west coast label, Six Weeks Records. Two new, but unmastered tracks from the record have been put up by the band. The first, "Born Annoyed", is probably one of the most reserved and straight forward songs that the band has done (as in most of the riffs go on for more than one measure). I was actually pretty surprised at how un-technical the song was. Not that it's a bad thing, just unexpected. The nest song, "The Lords Work" has more of the traditional Backslider insanity, and has a couple of the southern sludge-influenced riffs that they bring out every now and again. Both the tracks are bangers, and I'm very excited to hear the rest of the album.
Finally, we have a new track from my homies, Damaged Goods. Another duo too, what a nice little coincidence. These young lads, who released an excellent demo last year, are gearing up to release their new EP, "Terminal", on cassette and (fingers crossed) a 7" record. This new track, "Resolutions", which opens the EP, is a fucking slammer. The slow intro, the drum fills that lead into the blast riff, the breakdown at the end, it all kills. These kids play powerviolence/hardcore like they've had 10+ years of experience under their belts, it's sickeningly impressive. I've heard the full EP, and expect a very positive review when the time comes.