No matter how hard we try to keep on top of everything coming out, we’re gonna miss a few here and there. Like the new WAKE LP which came out a day after the last Grind My Gears graced newsfeeds worldwide (ha). With myself to blame I considered dedicating this months article entirely to the Canadian grind maestros but alas, there have been too many other sick releases for me to ignore. There’s no underlying theme tying all of these bands together, just a trigger-happy keyboard specialist bundling them into your recommended monthly dose of misery and malcontent. Over the jump with ye.
2016’s Sowing The Seeds Of A Worthless Tomorrow thrust WAKE from my peripheral vision directly betwixt my eyes. The Calgarians leaned back and crane kicked me right in the teeth with an unceasing combo of blackened grind and cremated dissonant death. I sat for two years, tonguing the stubs where my chompers used to be, waiting patiently for more. Well, nearly two years to the day I got what I fucking asked for. Misery Rites picks up exactly where WAKE left off, only to crank up the dissonance and death metal this time around.
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STSOAWT was a barnburner, undoubtedly, but this new spin pushes the boundaries of grind outwards; expanding into darker territories more often associated with black metal. This doesn’t mean that WAKE have stopped grinding. Far from it; “Rot” rips shit to pieces with consummate ease, the title track is a whirlwind of corrosive vocals and finger shredding chords, and “Embers” contains all the frantic energy of a pack of cracked up, starving Sasquatch. After releasing such a devastating album previously, it only makes sense that Misery Rites would continue to amp up the grinding devastation on this one. That’s not all they’ve jacked up on music ‘roids though.
Album closer “Burial Ground” uses every moment of it’s existence to toy with genre conventions, blasting between blackened grind and Primitive Man dirge, before fading into oblivion. It’s the longest track on the record by a stretch and opens the door for the next record to contain more expansive, sweeping tracks. WAKE have proven time and time again that they can grind, ferociously. On this, 2018’s gold standard grind release thus far, the Canadians make room for twisted melodic sections, brief enough to miss but ultra satisfying when caught. There’s more room for the music to swell up and around the listener too, while previous works have been intensive and tiring (in the best possible way), Misery Rites has room to breathe. Room to suck in black air and expel it in the only way they know how – with great audacity, technique and rich, devastating sounds. There aren’t many black or death records that sound as good as this, neither black nor death but somewhere grinding between the two. Fucking. Killer.
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I always make it really clear who my favourites are. Probably because I write about them a bunch, but that’s my prerogative so shut it. Fucked, the secondary solo project of the creator of Tanpopo Crisis just continues to drop absolutely savage EP’s when I’m least expecting it. Miss Piss is the latest caustic, claustrophobic effort to arrive courtesy of Myrtle Beach and yes, it get’s fucked. Fucked up, flailing limb devastation with buzzsaw guitars and wretched vocals. Yay!
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It seems utterly daft to comment on the production values of one man, blackened digi-grind (it’s a thing, I’m telling you) but I dunno. Everything on the Miss Piss EP sounds vicious as all kinds of fuck. The popping and rattling drums genuinely pierce the ears on every blast and roll, losing no rounds against man-made drum sounds. There’s nothing clean or clear about the aural attack of Fucked, one might even say that there’s no protective barrier between the music and the soft, fleshy cavity of your eardrum. It makes sense that you’ll pick something up after listening to this. It is utterly filthy and almost definitely gets around but I’m not one to slut shame. Just be safe. I’ve heard things about Myrtle Beach.
The members of Wormrot are super busy with their extracurriculars at the moment. With the sludgy doom riffs of Marijanna belching smoke out of Singapore by the lungful, it’s time for the hazy focus to shift to Code Error. A new grind project with the vocal and percussive elements of Wormrot, Code Error’s debut self-titled EP strays far enough from the established and revered Wormrot sound to earn its own plaudits. Amazing what adding a bass player can do to a band’s sound huh?!
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Code Error definitely smash out more of a powerviolence vibe than the ‘rot. The songs are still short, stabbing affairs but there are fewer shifts in pace and far more slapped together riffs and beats. It’s a jumble of fuzzy grind, hardcore and violence and it’s totally freakin’ sweet. Titled 0-6, there’s no room for frills and fancies. Just rough’n’ready violence of the highest order. It’s interesting to hear Arif employ a more directly “core” vocal style too, eschewing his demonic gargles for a minute or seven. Fantastic grind but I still prefer Wormrot. Sorry not sorry.