MANNEQUIN REIN RECORDS SPECIAL part I

•September 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment

ARCHAGATHUS / JEFFREY DAHMER

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Everyone should have already noticed the recent flood of Archagathus releases. I think it’s a thing that happens once every two years, but when it happens, jesus, prepare yourself. In the latest months I’ve seen released splits with Maximum Thrash, Bestial Vomit, Pizza Hi-Five, Iron Butter, Rotocles, Compost and Jeffrey Dahmer. I’m going to talk about the last one, but at least one of the others will be featured here soon. Anyway, let’s talk about it. Archagathus delivers the usual amount of mincing grindcore, in the vein of mid 90’s Agathocles and with a touch of Dahmer, Unholy Grave and Rot. Their recipe hasn’t changed very much since the beginning (very much is an euphemism for “nothing at all”) BUT I really have to say that the overall songwriting ability has slightly increased. I think that Archagathus is one of those band that you can only love or hate, but it’s surely one of those that take their grindcore as a serious thing, even despite the sometimes funny song titles. The Archs is a solid band, with a very recognizable sound and a dedication that truly deserves respect. On the plus side, you will find a cover version of Open Up by BOHC band DYS which, in a weird way, really fits the style of the Canadian band.

On the flipside you can find Jeffrey Dahmer from Indonesia. First of all, the name. By adding the name to that infamous surname a band CAN’T hide the reference to the Canadian masters of grindcore. Then, the first song. Opening a record with a cover version is a somewhat weird and brave  choice, in this case, it works. Paying homage to SMG is another really bad way to hide your influences, but when influences are this good, well, no problems at all. So, these guys kick in with a cover of Holidays In Afghanistan by SMG, showing a very fuzzy and noisy kind of grindcore, even if sometimes the voice seems a bit out of place for the genre. It shifts from a classic low grunt to an acid scream, but sometimes it goes in the clean vocals dominion, reminding me a bit the harmonized voice of Unholy Grave. Anyway, it fits the whole. Musical wise they’re quite simple and not very memorable, sounding a lot like a grindcore band with stripped down structures and noisecore sounds (kudos for the reverb). Jeffrey Dahmer somewhat fits the record as a partner in crime for Archagathus but I think they’re still far from the Full EP status. They’re still a relative young band, after all, so I really want to hear what they’re going to kick out in the next year.

IMBROGLIO – DECLARED SELF HATRED

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Imbroglio is an American band and this is their final record, having disbanded a few days prior to this release. This is their third album and they sound like a super heavy version of all those new metal/hardcore/post band that are around these days. A mix of acts like Alpinist, Jugendbluth, Code Orange Kids, Oathbreaker and Converge can help you make an idea about how they sound like. I’m totally not into this kind of music, as you may have noticed, so I won’t spit out judgements on something I don’t know. All that I can say is that they sound REALLY heavy and dark, with a very mature sound and the right approach to life : hating. Check ’em out and make your own idea. I hope everyone will understand my point of view on reviews about something I don’t know (which is, basically, describe a bit about the band, how they sound to me and giving you the chance to hear something, instead of pathetically ranting about something which wasn’t my cup of tea in the first time).
Anyway, thumbs up for the name and the artwork, dudes!

SCUM GUILT – ENSLAVED

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Here we go again in MY territory. Scum Guilt are from Ohio and play a dense and thick kind of grindcore. Their sound draws directly from the Napalm Death releases of the 90’s (the early 90’s ones, or the good ones, as you prefer), with a very great aggressive approach. The aggression factor is a strong plus to this EP, in fact is one of the thing that really stands out about Scum Guilt. Their songwriting is good, complex but not too much, direct but not banal, with very well done blastbeats (even if not THAT fast) and a very nice vocal approach (you know, that classic low grunt that never gets old). The previous description can easily depict a shitload of bands BUT this is where the aggression side of the band kicks in and makes everything so intersting. This EP drools from the archetypic kind of rage that made bands like Dismembered Fetus, Excruciating Terror or Assuck so great. The personality of the band has still to stand out, but with an EP like this I think that Scum Guilt has started their career with the right foot.

Thanks to Mannequin Rein Records for the promos

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A new FUCK SHIT review about DAMN DAMN DAAAAAAAMN a record which talks about FUCKFUCKINFUCK Tourette’s Syndrome

•August 31, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Well, this is quite a surprise. When Alessio from Spermbloodshit sent me the promo of their new record, called “The Tourette’s Syndrome” I was expecting an album in the way of their early stuff, so a total pornogrind assault with all those groovy parts, slow pace and the CHUGGA-CHUGGA riffing. Something that I can stand for the lenght of an EP, surely not for a full album. BUT, something happened. They shifted their style, slightly leaving behind the classic pornogore structures and moving to a more solid mix of death, thrash and thick old school goregrind. The first thing that came to my mind, speakinf of the music, is surely Surgical Disembowelment by Dead Infection, with a cool thrashy twist that makes the song very swift and enjoyable on the long distance. The classic groovy riffing typical of their original genre are almost gone but, when they come in, they slow everything down too much, sounding a bit out of place (like in Stupid Werewolf). There are some samples here and there (South Park, Beavis & Butthead and some Italian comedy flicks) but they’re not too much or annoying, instead they set the overall fun mood that drools from the record (and it’s also a Spermbloodshit’s trademark).

But let’s talk about the best feature of the album : vocals. The band always had a dual vocals assault : deep growling and almost “clean” voice. The clean ones are now strongly predominant and, let me say it : THEY RULE. It’s a an acid thrashy vocal tone that, in some parts, reminded me Araya in Show No Mercy. Listen to the Cheesing and tell me if screaming “Live by the sword and help to contain / The helpless minds of you all / Die by my hand in pools of blood / Clutch yourself as you fall” could be out of place.

This record is quite entertaining and can be a good way to spend half an hour. There is a cool mix of genres and shows the evolution of a band through the years. I really dig what Spermbloodshit is doing now, so I hope they keep with this road. Check ’em out!

 

Thanks to Alessio for the promo.

3 ways to destruction : gaining a leg, being torn apart and getting infected.

•August 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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Captain 3 Leg is one of those bands that can always take you by surprise. Everytime I put one of their new releases in my Hi-Fi I always wonder what kind of music I’m going to hear. The last time I’ve talked about them (for the Incident At The Ape Canyon compilation) they were dwelling in a very good mix of straight forward grinding hardcore and powerviolence. Now I take this CD in my hands, turn it around, take a look at the titles and..what the fuck? Corridors Of Bone. Disposal Of Amputated Body Parts. Bowel. Is this a C3L records or an Autopsy one? “It must be an inner joke”, I thought. Than I started playing it. Andy did it again. These three fuckers made another flawless attempt in disorientating me, simply making the music they wanted to play, without focusing on a single identity for their band. These fifteen tracks are a great throwback to the early 90’s, with a strong mix between thick grindcore and goregrind. Put A Chapter Of Accident by Dead Infection, Concrete Human Torture by Regurgitate, Righteous Pigs, Terrorizer and Unseen Terror in a blender, mince ’em up and voilà, you have the new Captain 3 Leg music. And that’s just about the music. What really nailed it, in my opinion, are vocals. Those deep, hellish, ogrish barks, with a perfect use of the pitchshifter. A perfect trade d’union between early Last Days Of Humanity, Jaro from Dead Infection, General Surgery’s demos and The County Medical Examiners. Priceless.There’s also some space for a totally weird song, Brests Aren’t For Feeding, with a somewhat cool sixties vibe.
C3L has always been a great band. Andy is a great guy. Love these songs, check ’em out!

NOTE : Andy let me know that no pitchshifter was used on these recordings. My bad. And obvious kudos to them for such an amazing vocal tone!

Whoretorn is a three-piece from France and they, as C3L, were featured on the Incident At Ape Canyon compilation. The fifteen tracks featured on this 3 way are way better than the ones on the compilation and, let me tell you, they’re totally BRUTAL. Whoretorn plays that thick kind of grindcore, with ultra bassy sound and super tight snare drum, so you always feel like you are in a trench, with your legs sinking in the mud and your helmet chipped by the enemies’ fire. All the songs are fast and totally uncompromising, without complex riffing or too much tempo changes. Vocals usually dwell in the low growl area, with some incursions in the raunchy screaming environment. Sometimes things slow down a bit, but no breakdowns here, just an handful of groovy section put there to let you breath for a bunch of seconds. As for C3L, even Whoretorn is a great flashback to the 90’s, before the ultra technical bands and the posh productions. You know, when grindcore was meant to GRIND YOUR FUCKING EARS. Maybe they’re not too sensational or “rad”, but this is grindcore the way it used to be. Fast, unrelenting, uncompromising and, most of all, UGLY. A scary, brutal, bloody monster who reeks of hate and death. Talking about ugly stuff, Whoretorn likes to give some bones to gnaw to the PCs. Totally anti-politically-correct concepts, headshots to the morals and chainsaws in the flesh of shame. You love Rupture? You will love Whoretorn and give ’em an high five in the name of tongue in cheek provocation. You don’t love Rupture? GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE.

And now, Yeast Infection. This band was a side project of Ace from Dismembered Fetus, so it’s very similar to the “main” band. They used to call themselves Hatecore, which I think is a very fitting description. Haunting, heavy as fuck and monolithic grindcore, with some poisonous burst of pure blind violence. That’s the main recipe for these songs, filled with a strong and throat clutching bass, played the way it should be : with the distortion pedal to the max. The real deal here are the vocals. Good ol’ Ace was a synonymous of quality : each words spit out of his mouth is pissed off and full of hate and, even if he sometimes does a classic growl or screaming, his main style is focused on a throat exploding bark that totally fits the style of the band. When I think about classic American grindcore Dismembered Fetus and Yeast Infection are two of the first names I come up with and the fact that they are still not recognized as heavy weight of the genre makes my heart bleed. I think you should know Yeast Infection by now, if not, expect a total assault of fuzzy and distorted grindcore with one of the best vocalist of the last 15 years spitting out his rage for everything and everyone.

This CD is dedicated to the memory of Ace (1975-2008)
Thanks to David for the promo copy.

I’m greedy, but it’s fine.

•August 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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Do you know that weird feeling when you have to explain what powerviolence is? You try to stick to the original definition (you know, the Man Is The Bastard’s HSMP one), but you find yourself trying to compare five bands with TOTALLY different styles (not to mention Manpig, who released their first record only last year). Scumrock is a definition of style as loose as powerviolence. You can describe it as a raunchy and dirty mix of punk, rock n roll, country, blues, proto thrash metal, hardcore, folk and so on. I usually use ANTiSEEN as the cornerstone of scumrock but even them are too various to give an easy description. But,even if with a so hard to describe musical side, scumrock has a strong, clear and, ironically, pure attitude, so you need just a riff and a vocal line to sream SCUMROCK from the botton of your lungs.

Greedy Mistress is a scumrock outfit hailing from the outskirts of Milan (and of life, quoting the grand master of scum), a strong four pieces with some releases under their belts. It Was Fine is their third album and displays a strong personality with a sharp and mature songwriting. Songs are not very fast, dwelling in the grey area between mid-tempos and double barrell 4/4 assault. Their style is more on the hardcore side of things, with a strong swamp feeling, reminding a lot bands like The Nerds, Rancid Vat and Hammerlock, but without losing a strong Greedy Mistress soul. I think that one of the best aspects of the band is that they are Italian and they don’t forget about it. There’s a vague and haunting vibe of 80’s Italian hardcore, mixed with some straightforward thrash moments, not far from the good ol’ Bulldozer (I Wish You Were Never Born). But it’s when the songs change shift and the ANTiSEEN demon crawls in their songs that things really start to kick asses. Two Timer Motherfucker and Fistful Of Nothing are instant-anthems and you just can’t help to imagine the frontman Mollu with blood spilling from his forehead and the mike tightly clutched with both hands. This brings out another awesome aspect of the band : their live shows. If you come to Italy and they have a gig planned, don’t miss it, you’re gonna have 100% fun guarantee!

 

And you know, I’m a romantic sould, and I want to point out my friends’ amazing work, so kudos to Carletto (who also plays drums in Greedy Mistress) for the usual AMAZING production (at his Toxic Basement Studio) and to the super-sweet Shyla for the cover picture.
Well, in the end, the verdict : this album won’t change much BUT it’s a strong record, drenched with blood and sweat, full of honesty and passion. Support these guys, watch them live and do a mike-grab with Mollu. They totally deserve it.
Oh, did I mention the ghost track? A cover version of Alice Cooper’s I Love The Dead sung by the Heavyweight Champion of Rock n Roll himself, Jeff Clayton!

Incident At Ape Canyon : a lesson in ruling hard

•May 7, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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The compilation starts with Violent Headache, one of the best bands in the history of European grindcore. The Spanish band is a sure deal, plus these recordings come from a 1996 recording (meant to be released on a never printed split with Anticlerical), so between the classics split EPs with Proyecto Terror and Carcass Grinder. What can I say? This is pure, pounding and passionate old school raw grindcore, maybe not so fast or brutal, but totally enjoyable and full of energy. This recordings come before the slightly crust switch the band had with their album Bombs Of Crust, but some signals of the change can be heard here and there. I want to point out the great basswork of Chico and the amazing sound of these songs, which perfectly mixes the brutal and raw soul of Violent Headache with a rather clear recording. The last song is an HHH cover version, so you have another reason to think that you can’t get wrong with this band.

Next, ladies and gentlemen, the best, in my opinion, songs by Captain Three Leg EVER. This band changed their style a lot during the years, but this time I think they really nailed it. This is the kind of songs that a band can release only if its members have a wide range of musical tastes. How can I describe these songs? Mix a slowed down collaboration between Spazz and Infest, add some raw grind here and there and pour a HUGE DOSE of Rupture. So, Rupture-influenced-powerviolence? Powerviolence-drive-Rupture-worship? Call it like you want, this is just great. There are also some very cool old school punk (scandi and UK!) sections here and there. The scum punk feeling that flows through these songs is really inspiring. Rupture. The Scroungers. Netjajev SS. You know the deal. Pure fan. Raise your beer and band your head.
p.s. don’t worry when you’ll here the noises on track 22. Just read the title and enjoy the inside joke!

Wadge time! This Canadian band has a long history and it still kicks asses. I have to say that I’m not a fan of all their records, but on this comp they really nail it with three solid and intense grindcore songs. As always their main concept sticks to Hawaiian folklore and the guitar work gives the feeling of deep sea misteries, haunting bonfires in the night and ritual dances. Wadge is an insititution in grindcore and these songs continue their legacy. I still use the “they” pronoun talking about Wadge, even if I think that only Paul is in the band right now.

And when you talk about Iron Butter you have to talk about fun. This four-pieces from New York has a long history of great split EPs with bands like Mesrine, Unholy Grave, SMG, Rot and Archagathus and sticks to their classic formula of strong and spazzztic grinding noisecore. High feedbacks, short bursts of noise, scream/growl alternance, messy sounds, rancid bass and so on. Imagine a messy mix of Deche Charge, Fear Of God, Anal Massaker and Sore Throat. With a deranged twist. Plus, the last tracks is just hilarious.

And now, Rupture. Kneel! Behold the power of the best punk band ever. There are no infos about these recordings, but they really sound in the vein of the early stuff, like Baser Apes, Righteousfuck, Corrupture and Lust And Hate. Fast, blistering, uncompromising and totally poisonous full throttle punk. You either love or hate Rupture, but if you hate them you really should reconsider your life.

Fossil Fuel is a new one for me and, well, a really odd one. They sound like a weird mix between 50 Ways To Kill Me and GG Allin. This stuff just doesn’t work, for me. Sorry guys, but I really think you’re on the wrong compilation. Maybe not as attitude or whatever, but surely your music doesn’t fit between Rupture and Pantalones Abajo Marinero. Sorry.

I was talking about Pantalones Abajo Marinero, right? I thought this band was over and, suddenly, BAM, they appear on a compilation. No infos and twenty untitled tracks from them. Typical. This no bass duo delivers an amazing amount of HOLY SHIT grindcore, fast, unforgiving and with a cold sound that will make your ears bleed. This is totally the kind of music I expect from a band coming from the late 90’s and released by Discos Al Pacino. You will love every single note of these songs. No time to breath, no time to think, just bang your head and blastbeat on your furniture with your fingers. In my opinion, one of the best bands on this compilation.

Whoretorn is dead, now. And that’s a total bummer. They weren’t the best grindcore band on the planet, but they deliver two songs of really honest and well played grind, with a lot of emphasis on the low side of the frequencies, making their sound heavy as fuck and hard to handle for weak ears. Nothing too personal, but really effective, with a strong groovy side of the songs, coupled with faster blastbeat ridden sections. Cool band, too bad they split up.

I’ve already talked about Dysmorfic when I reviewed their split with Progeria, and it’s always a pleasure. This Italian band delivers five songs of amazing death influenced grind, with a lot of groove and brutality, coupled with a very nice guitar work and a strong attention to shades. Really not bad, even if the songs are maybe a little bit too long, but that’s a minor flow. During the first listenings the fact that they stick to a linear growling style may be a letdown, but it will grow on you after each listenings. Check out these guys!

 

[Released by At War With False Noise, DIY Noise, Hurts To Hear, Pure Fckn’ Hate Prod. & Luchacore Records]

[Thanks to Andy & David for the CD!]

Growing up : Cripple Bastards – Live To Hate People

•April 23, 2013 • Leave a Comment

 

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At the end of the first pack of songs of this live album Giulio shouts “Gesù o Barabba?” to a rioting crowd. The choice. Which side? Sometimes music, particularly punk music, needs a choice, a selection between different and competing factions. Choosing between Jesus or Barabbas is something that is inside of every person with a strong critical soul. You come to a moment in life when you need to put yourself in a faction, ending the neverending struggle in the grey zone. Growing up in Italy and listening to hardcore, grindcore and so on, puts yourself in that situation. You’re with or against Cripple Bastards? It’s very hard to be neutral about it. VERY hard. Are you with Jesus or with Barabbas? You have to choose. Do what you want, do what you like, but remember that a decision is worthy only if made after knowing everything you need to know about the matter. Don’t pose. Don’t take a stand without searching the depth of a band that has been around since before you were born. I’ve made my choice. I’m here because of Cripple Bastards, they made me find a light in the dark and frustration brought by living in Asti. They raised me. They made me wanting to be part of something bigger than just me and my records. I know them. I know every note they recorded. I’ve seen them live more than any other band. I know every word of their songs. I’ve made my choice.

This record is something more than just a live album. It’s a statement. The first songs are form the infamous Rovereto gig, with people rioting and boycotting the band, shouting insults at them. You can be with them or with the band. Make your own choice. I think that Cripple Bastards are the way they are also because of all the curses they received during the years, feeding their hating side and making their songs harder and harder.

Jesus or Barabbas? Take a stand.

On a sidenote, this is the best sounding live recording in all the 25 years of the Bastards’ career, with a song, Self-Zeroing, that stood for a very short time in the band’s set list. The original songs from the first Live To Hate People 3″ MCD are included. Out on F.O.A.D. Records.

 

Thanks to Giulio & Luca for the CD.

Tsubo & Suffering : A Joint Venture Since 199x

•April 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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Tsubo is a band based in Rome, which has been around for ten years, but only releasing a split 7″, a 4 way CD and a full lenght album. This is their sopohomore release and I can say it’s also their best effort so far. Tsubo always focused on a mix of death metal and grindcore, mixing the power of the former to the speed of the latter. I’ve seen them live in 2007 and the mix worked out really well, while I’ve always thought that their recordings were a bit too rigid, with the death metal influence holding down the potential of the songs. Four years have passed since their latest release (the split EP with Agathocles) and I think that all this time was a good chance for improving their sound. “Con Cognizione Di Causa” is a solid record, the best Tsubo release so far, without any doubt. Their sound is still a mix of the above mentioned genres, but they managed to add a lot of freshness to the songs, making them sound fast yet powerful, heavy yet quick. The lenght of the compositions varies a lot, going from a few seconds to three minutes. The last song, “Colto Da Disperazione”, lasts way longer, but it has a long instrumental coda, so, well, it’s not a solid six minutes grind fest. I want to point out the guitar riffing, created with a solid thrash base and able to span to grindcore and death metal licks. Tsubo recorded two covers for this album, Salt Mine by Assuck and Storm Of Stress by Terrorizer. Mixing those two bands and adding some Deeds Of Flesh, some Possessed and a solid early Brutal Truth vibe can describe how Tsubo sounds. The result is a good record, which can finally stand out in the grindcore underground, side to side with great Italian bands of our days like Ape Unit, O, Terror Firmer or Zeit Geist. There’s still something to do, like making songs a bit more personal, but I really think that “Con Cognizione Di Causa” is a good checkpoint for Tsubo. Give ’em a try!

Thanks to Manuel & Tsubo for the promo