GRONIBARD (Fra): “Split Your Guts Vol 1.” split Cd with GOREROTTED (Eng), GRUESOME STUFF RELISH (Spa) 2003 Deep Send

GRONIBARD (Fra):

I am afraid I had enough of Ultra Vomit this year for what concerns hilarous gore grind, but Ultra Vomit is also a lot heavier than Gronibard and probably more classic ’00 goregrind, while apart from the choruses these tracks sound a bit like a cross of old school Death and more modern stuff (not to mention this split is older than “M. Patate”. The music is still much into experimentation, with some funny moments a la Macabre, but also strong moments of good music, just messed up and cut with inserts of guitar schizopheria or drunk choruses. This up and down of good music and fun-made arrangements with Mickey Mouse vocals has started to bore me I must confess. If they stripped these tracks from all the bollocks, we might have solid death/goregrind shit, but I don’t think listening to the same fun jokes more than once still mainatins the same effectiveness. The cover of this Cd is still by the fun super splatter artist Jake of Tales from Uranus (does he respond to any of your emails? I think I have written him at least a dozen times but never got a reply). A bit colorful but totally fits the atmosphere of old 70’s horror comics with a modern interpretation.

Vote: 6.7

GRUESOME STUFF RELISH (Spa): “Split Your Guts Vol 1.” split Cd with GOREROTTED (Eng), GRONIBARD (Fra) 2003 Deep Send

GRUESOME STUFF RELISH (Spa):

Since when Gruesome Stuff Relish has become so good? Here we have again a band whose name starts with the letter “G” but better yet, a band whose Carcass worship comes not for the fucked up Amott wasted albums, but from their glorious two discs with splatter collage covers. The music in these tracks has the rocking energy of earlier Exhumed, with a perfect balance of distortion, gurgling vocals and grind core blasts. I am not afraid to say I prefer this band to Haemorrhage, when we talk about Spanish Gore Metal/Grind. The song titles are still inspired by the best of horror celluloid such as the Shockumentary “Faces of Death”, the Argento trilogy of the three mothers, “Nightmare City” etc. instead of pathological fantasy. Too bad we don’t have a lyricsheet here. Anyway still reconnecting to the Exhumed quote, this band has become capable of incredibly cool arrangements, with a thrashing flow which does not sound as exaggerated and ridicolous like Ghoul‘s, but is still able to mix fun with gore in a not too cartoonish way. And great double vocal approach.

Vote: 8.5

GOREROTTED (Eng): “Split Your Guts Vol 1.” split Cd with GRUESOME STUFF RELISH (Spa), GRONIBARD (Fra) 2003 Deep Send

GOREROTTED (Eng):

The Gorerotted tracks are re-recordings of their first demo/Mcd “Her Gash I Did Slash”. I didn’t like that release at all when it was released back then, but I must admit that the songs sound a bit better now with new sound. Apart from the “Mutilated in Minutes” album which I found fucking brilliant, I am not a big fan of anything this band released afterwards, their last album on top. Far from “one of the 7 greatest bands of all times” anyway, as someone said. Structurally Gorerotted are not the typical Death/Grind inspired by Carcass, despite the double vocals, becouse apart from some groovy chords riminiscent of Amott’s works (which by the way destroyed the band, but that’s another matter), the music is mostly mid-tempo Death Metal a bit straighter in structure than the band cited before. The drums are a bit stiff but they have some personality, with some creative us of the cymbals, but fundamentally the guitar riffs a la “Tools of the Trade”/”Necroticism” are neither sick nor brutal, hanging somewhere in beteween standard Metal with some of the headbanging vein which has become Ghoul‘s trademark signature. Personally I think this is the weakest part of the three way, as I didn’t like these songs before and still don’t do despite the new arrangements (and, hey the clean nasty vocals are real boring). There is a total rip off of Metallica‘s “Call of Chtulhu” at the beginning of the third song but who knows, maybe it was intentional.

Vote: 6

CRYPT OF KERBEROS (Swe): “The Macrodex of War” collection Cd 2003 Bleed

CRYPT OF KERBEROS (Swe):

I am in a mood of doing reviews of old school shit here as you probably have noticed. Recollections like these are food for the soul. This Cd title might be misleading as it does not contain any of Macrodex songs actually. You might have heard a sample from that great band on the also great “Projection of a Stained Mind” sampler,; it’s really great shit, but the tracks here start with the birth of this band, not the death of the previous one. Anyway. In my opinion Crypt of Kerberos has been a really mistreated band in the Swedish secne, becouse their Cd “World of Myths” is a cool example of Swedish Death played with a tidbit of melody but with a very warm feeling. They should be mentioned more often. That Cd is still available from Adipocere for cheap so order a copy becouse it’s really worth it (not to mention that one is possibly the best release out of that label). Bleed records from Australia goes a step further and offers here almost 80 minutes of basically everything Crypt of Kerberos recorded aside from their full length Cd. They also did it the right way, by asking the main composer of the band Mattias Borgh directly for material and collaboration, so here we have crisp pictures and liner notes and some extra infos (not a huge booklet but effective). The layout is very, very simple and maybe it could have been even more “old school” if some proficient designer was charged with the project but the musical material here is really explosive in the start. The tracks from the first two demos are absolutely amazing, imagine the sound of Bolt Thrower in realm of chaos and add the Rottrevore/Grave vocals and brutality. Pure Death Metal with guttural vocals and total bulldozer sound, with that twisted, obscure sense of lingering death that was native of all the Scandinavian bands of the time. They’re also so neatly recorded here it’s definitely probable that the sound has been polished a bit as well. Being huge fan of Swedish Death music (probably my favourite genre) this collection really hit me as a pleasant surprise. The songs vary a bit in quality, some being mere rehearsals, but you really have no totally “sewage” noise. As the Cd appreaoches to the end, we leave the pure Death Metal of the beginning, the solos become more articulated and the music definitely more fluid, as the maturity in the arrangements are creating the band’s trademark sound. We have the possibly ripest products with the tracks from the two 7″s, but hey, the demo stuff is really the shit. Total underground Death as it should be. Really 10 score vote stuff. Sadly, tracks 15 to 17 are total shit which must be forgotten, trust me jump these tracks if you want to remember a band at its best. Remember the last days of Afflicted? Well… here you have something similar so you’ve been warned. Overally I would rate the singular demos and forst 7″ as straight 10 or so, but I can’t ignore the sound is a bit derivative of its period and well, the whole booklet might have been studied to be ten times better. You really should learn from Nuclear War Now or Relapse when doing retrospectives.

Vote: 9

THOU SHALT SUFFER (Nor): “Into the Woods of Belial” collection Cd 2004 Nocturnal Art

THOU SHALT SUFFER (Nor):

I cannot say with absolute accuracy if this 2004 Cd pressing is identical to the 1997 version but I am pretty sure the content is the same. Thou Shalt Suffer is quite famous for being the band which was before Emperor, with Isahn, Ildjarn and Samoth etc., and, well, honestly I think this material eclispes everything that band has done since the rather good self-titled Ep which was later released as a split with Enslaved. Even if not Black Metal by today’s standards, there is a lot of obscurity and evocative energy in this material, this is a in fact collection of a demo tape plus the 7″ released by the great underground label Distorted Harmony, which also released 7″s by Carnage, Carcass, Cenotaph etc. I have bought a cute collection of all the Distorted Harmony 7″s on Cd last year, and while although it’s obviously a bootleg (is it?), I feel I must review it here one day. Soundwise, it would not be difficult to rate this as just classic, glorious Death Metal made in Scandinavia 1990 and end the review here, but indeed it would be a broad approximation, becouse this music is not standard by any means. You have guttural vocals and slightly higher gargles and a powerful, muddy guitar sound a la countrymates Amputation (nor), but it’s the sense of eeriness which is predominant here. The most close association to a band I can make to the structures and unwrapping of these songs is for sure Autopsy. There is that obscure twisted feel in the riffs that remind of “Mental Funeral”/”Severed Survival” here, yet stripped of the doomy Black Sabbath vein. “Into the Woods of Belial” has its share of slow crunches but that’s when the difference between this band and the gods of Death really comes out. It is also undeniable a touch of old Death in the sound also, as sometimes you got that vaguely egyptian riff but it’s not so common as to make it trademark. It is just quite clear that this band took their earlier inspiration from that American sound as well as the Stockhom one. Sometimes you get also a keyboard note similar to a flute, very crudely arranged, just two or three notes, but it projects the image of the mindless musicians that keep the ungod Azathoth dormant. It is effectives sometimes, but at other times it’s totally superfluous, I would have gladly erased them all from the mix. This is good old school Death with a strong early Autopsy worship and totally cool varied guitarwork, too bad for the stupid keyboards, really. Buy this Cd if you find it but stay away from the shit that is the second Thou Shalt Suffer Cd, it’s mainly bad electronics crap. The sound shifts in quality when the recording of the 7″ starts, and you basically get some songs twice but that’s the good in retrospectives. The two ending songs are not really that good but it’s good they’re here for the sake of completion. No lyrics, horrible cover which is a pic of a wood at night with a newspaper rolled on the side, but nonetheless great old school Death with feeling.

Vote: 8.7

SUPPURATION (Col): “Pain and Suffering” Cd 2005 Mutilation

SUPPURATION (Col):

How the fuck I didn’t know this band before is still a mystery to me, this album of Suppuration from Colombia is possibly the best Cd I have bought so far this year. This Cd is a fucking massacre, a relentless work of carnage that chops and hacks from the first minute to the last. Musically you got no fucking finesse, neither in sound nor arrangements, but that’s exactly its strength: you got some totally bloodsoaked Grinding Brutal Death that sounds a bit like a filthy cross of Disgorge (Mex) and Pustulated with the delicious sewer sound of Rottennes, Flesh Grinder or Kabak. I just love it all: the drums are blasting but articulated, with grating accelerations a la Disgorge, and a dry, wooden snare drum sound; the vocals a constant boarlike grunt, recorded so high they wrap the whole music around; the guitar riffs sharp, fast and totally disharmonic (no fucking melodies, damn!). The production, too, is deliciously “South American”, raw but unserstandable. I think the aspect I love more is that here you get all the brutality of, say, Brodequin, but stripped of the modern North American habit of shrinking utter brutality in a tie and and elegant suit. Fuck of to the super productions, here is the real shit, Brutal Death is stuff for the dirt and grime of decaying slums, not high class villas and skyscrapers, if you know what I mean. When playing this Cd in my car stereo I had to turn the volume to the top until the speakers creaked and hissed and fuck, how I loved it! My glasses were shattering. This music just smells of fresh fucking blood, total blistering brutal fucking lo-fi Death Metal with no frills, always blasting with no space for breathing, ever. Yeah, just pain and asphyxiation! And one more positive note, the cover art is just the most fantastic, disturbing piece of shit I have seen in years. It’s a fantastic drawing of severed rotting heads, deformed and rotting, sewn together with chunks of flesh and melting rot, the simple choice of colors is just amazing, reminds me of disturbing German expressionism, it is just so powerful, and fits totally the music, since this is clearly hand-painted old school art and no fucking computer shit. It just does not sound artificial, like the music. The grey and brown of rotting flesh are the predominant colors, and the faces are so distorted and disturbing, they remind me some artwork of 70’s Italian Comic books (man, those were real artists) or movie posters. One fucking punch in the stomach should be given to the guy who had the idea of putting photoshop effects on the logo, becouse without that gross mistake this cover would have been ultimate. Seems like Mutilation needs to get a professional designer, becouse the layout within the booklet is also total amateur two minute stuff. Too bad, although I won’t let this detail strip the total cult I have for this album. Seems like I am only giving out high votes recently but really this stuff is so good. Another thing that perplexes me is that they have no lyrics inside, but judging by the titles they sound a bit stupid, one is even called “Mutilated rec.” what the fuck?? Seriousness guys, seriousness. Anyway, this album is just killer, get it, damn! PS: Just for curiosity, are you considering a 21 minute album a full-length?

Vote: 9.6

SWARRRM (Jap): “Nise Kyuseishu Domo” Cd 2003 H.G.Fact

SWARRRM (Jap):

By Jove this band is really touched by folly. Swarrrm is incredibly atypical even for a grindcore band from the land of the rising sun. Fundamentally get a typical Japanese noisecore band with screaming incoherent vocals and blurry blastbeats but then add in as many other ingredients, the most paradoxical the better, to the mix, and make it sound af if everything makes sense. It took me a few listens to understand exactly how the textures blend with meticolous precision. The Cd starts with a string instrument similar to mandolin, with a tune similar to The Godfather’s. Then it erupts into total mayhem. But this time you got something really “different” becouse this band just doesn’t play grind and then throws in foreign elements in clearly separated bridges ( a la C.S.S.O.), the sound is just perfectly balanced and mixed, with all the parts going at the same time. The initial tune is taken inside of the first song and this string-like atypical sound accompanies the singer’s wry vocal breaks in a totally unpredicatble, crazied way, it is striking how this band incorporates the sound of several instruments in their music, including a piano. The sound is also perfectly crisp, with a mixing so accurate it reminds more of a metal band than a ‘core one, and what’s more you get kilotons of variations, including lots of melodies, intricate riffs and long moments of hybrid metalcore melancholy, like The End for instance, with dissonant and distant passages. Sometimes there are also riffs so weird you cannot really identify, if not as some strange breed of indie rock, but it just doesn’t sound commercial becouse those mad vocals that blabber nonsense go through all kinds of tonalities from gore gurgles to diapason screams a la Yamatsuka Eye, and they just turn everything to pink hippos and rainbow colored marbles. It is not easy to rate a band like this but the whole thing sounds to perfectly planned, and with a sound so strong that you cannot but see just how talented this band is. Some songs might as well be Death Metal, but at the same time also septic fusion jazz. Really you can’t just use the same rating system you use for other shit, damn! Seems like every member knows well every genre becouse you also get fierce Hard Core riffs a la Sick of It All in the mix, the citations just never end. A good thing is also that this band is 100% analogic. You have no fucking frequencies or synths, or samples for the matter, just well played madness. Human musicians, not computerized sounds. Really a top level release this time from H.G. Fact and I would also be curious to hear how this album sounds without the vocals, they are really an instrument per se, but totally freaked out and out of the continuity of the songs, while they fit well the concept, the music beneath is really the shit this time. The packaging is also weird, with a shaped booklet that folds in a strange way. To me this stuff is gold. If you’re into some experiments, get this album when you find it.

Vote: 8.8