Dripping Decay – Watching You Rot [US, Death] (2021)

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Self Released | 12-31-21

Never discount the end of the year. It’s tempting to call it quits in mid-November, but there’s always something that could come out day-of that shakes it up. Dripping Decay is from Portland, OR – a region that’s developed one hell of a death metal pedigree these last few years. The Watching You Rot demo is seven tracks of rolling and ripping death metal with a significant grind aesthetic and intense barked growls. Torture Rack’s also from Portland, and I had to check if they had members in Dripping Decay given how both bands excel in writing short death metal songs that aren’t always entirely deathgrind. Short and sweet but oh so sweet, like putrid maggots. The half-chug breakdown midway through “Sadistic Excruciator” is the highlight.

Watching You Rot by Dripping Decay

Deliriant Nerve – Uncontrollable Ascension [US, Grind] (2021)

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Self Released | 2-1-22

In December 2021, I saw my first show since COVID-19 at Comet Ping Pong in north Washington, DC. Though I went for Caveman Cult, I left with a hell of an impression from a combative grindcore band named Deliriant Nerve. Birthed from the region’s incredibly strong extreme metal and punk scenes, Deliriant Nerve is a true fusion of both genres. Their debut Uncontrollable Ascension is an EP in the way only grindcore can do: nine tracks, 12 minutes, all fury. There’s breakdowns galore and rhythmic order in chaos with excellent drumming that weaves in and out of its own grooves. The band even finds enough energy to put in a minute-long noise outro into which the deathiest track on the album fades into feedback. Tracks get almost mathy, but that’s what happens when you’re blitzing through lightning-fast chord and tempo changes… how do these guys find time to breathe? There’s no cramming ideas into tracks, they just happen to be that multifarious – Deliriant Nerve makes all forty-eight seconds of “Vice” into erupting controlled chaos with no sloppiness whatsoever. Special shout-out to the bass guitarist, who is wonderfully unafraid to assert himself and adds a distinct sense of groove on “Shrapnel Spiral” and “Mouth Full of Eyes”.

Uncontrollable Ascension by Deliriant Nerve

Effluence – Ballistic Bloodspray [US, Brutal Death / Grind / Noise] (2021)

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Self Released | 4-9-21

I can’t imagine a better title to this EP: this is a ballistic spray of blood. No question. The Czech deathgrind band Contrastic notably merged totally non-metal instruments into their self-titled LP (the one with The Little Mermaid on the cover); but if they were the fun one in the family, then Effluence is like the unhinged younger brother who took his sibling’s imagery a bit too far. This 12-minute EP is an absolutely bonkers mix of technical death metal, brutal death metal, grindcore, and noise. There’s the slightest bit of remaining wonkyness that hints at a sense of humor(???), like the piano on “Unending Separation” and the clarinet on both “Unholy Liquid” and “Miasma of Entrails”. It’s weird, experimental, and intense music – similar to what Genophobic Perversion is doing, and this feels a little more polish in perversity. Celebrate in good vibes.

The World is Burning and I’m Just Sitting Here Making Grindcore Songs – The End of the World [US, Grind / Noise] (2020)

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Self Released | 8-15-20

At some points, I wonder where music stops and where weird art projects begin. The World is Burning and I’m Just Sitting Here Making Grindcore Songs is most certainly a bedroom art / music project with irreverence a weapon that is wielded around with abandon. The End of the World is a remix / re imagining / pastiche of the 1962 Skeeter Davis song inter fused with noise grind. The cover fits this motif with Davis’ cover super imposed with the horrifically crafted logo of the project. Though the end result is something maligned and aggressive, the idea and ultimate balance between melodic 60’s country pop and noise is something that I could see continuing in further exploration. One of strangest aspects about this whole affair is the reverence for the original song and its placement between the bits of noise and destruction. It is something that could have fallen into imbalance but for now it oddly works.

STAGNATER – THE GUILLOTINE DEMO [US, Grind / Death] (2020)

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Transylvanian Tapes | 8-7-20

It has been a minute since I checked in on Transylvanian Tapes and much to my surprise and abject horror, this label has a slab of new releases that are certain to inspire terror. Stagnater is a Boston based grind act that follows the genre’s cure on song length but manages to condense fierce death/grind in under 2 minutes. Add to this the embrace of black / death visual aesthetics and one has a raucous time that is akin to a smashed bottle before a bar brawl. For fans of Pig Destroyer and just general mayhem.

Saccular – Excrescence Odium [US, Brutal Death / Grind] (2020)

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Self Released | 6-20-20

These genres are usually something I do not seek out on my own. Brutal death has its history and style which has grown to be something that is for certain people. I am not one of them. This does not mean I do not enjoy the face first dive into gross subject matter rather to do so has to be done with some tact and reservation. I cant believe I’m talking about tact with this style of music but Excrescence Odium circumvents the ordinarily sexual pathology of brutal deaths history with a half of a split that explores the outer body experience of abstract torment. The music on this split is less a collection of songs rather sheets of slime that drown the listener and while I propped up the high concept notion of the music, the Bandcamp picture is still the creator on a hood with an axe. This is goregrind that doesn’t chop at the lowest hanging fruit but rather twists and deforms itself into something unrecognizable and wonderful.

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Pharmacist – Forensic Pathology Jurisprudence [Japan, Death / Grind] (2020)

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Self Released | 6-20-20

Holy shit this is messy. I love it. First of all that logo is so nasty I want it on a shirt or at least a backpatch with the album art. Pharmacist’s name and album title is almost as weird as the choice of music since nothing really fits together but in its haphazard chaos, there is momentum for a stellar release of death / grind that cares less about form and more about brute force. If one can get past the snare drum that beats on you with a tire iron, then you are in for a gross disaster that is beautiful in its attitude.

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Crypt Walk – Rot Gut Prophecies [US, Grind / Death] (2020)

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Self Released | 6-5-20

I love this so much. It is so nasty and possibly out of the realm of heavy metal but it doesn’t matter one bit. Welcome Crypt Walk, a grind / death (?) three piece that wants nothing more than to dump cinder blocks on you from the top of an abandoned warehouse. Rot Gut Prophecies lies on the outskirts of punk / hardcore / grind / death metal and has been rolled up in a carpet and now is crawling with slugs. The gross imagery is part and parcel for a record that is short in its execution but leaves a stench lingering in your nostrils even after walking away from it.

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Gravesend – Preparations for Human Disposal [US, Black / Grind] (2020)

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Stygian Black Hand | 6-5-20

Gravesend maybe releasing at an opportune time as the world descends into bleaker futures. Preparations for Human Disposal is the debut (?) demo (?) for Brooklyn based black/grind/death(?) outfit that channels centuries of urban misery into a 14 minute release that is boiling with rage and riffs. The band’s Instagram sports photos of structural decay which is fitting as the music sounds like demolished buildings and the stress or claustrophobia. This is a ruinous release that could be a personal totem for uncertain times. Whatever you use it for, the force and effectiveness of the music comes at the listener like a cinder block dropped off of a burned out building.

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Maniac – Managed [US, Grind / Death] (2020)

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Self Released | 5-5-20

“Recorded in isolation..by choice.” Aside from the color palette of the cover, I enjoy the whole vibe of Maniac. This demo(?) is perhaps the living essence of not giving a fuck and that feeling firing like artillery shells. When Managled gets going, one is given the experience of 90’s style death just caffeinated and forced to watch more gore films than comfortable with. Maniac is perhaps a wonderful herald for times when things are uncertain and this is just a screaming harbinger for impending doom.

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