ARCHAGATHUS / JEFFREY DAHMER
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
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
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