Sunday, June 5, 2011

Goregrind beyond Carcass (Part 1)

Goregrind gets a terrible rap from the metal scene. Shunted to the side (along with much of grind in general apart from the formative works of Napalm Death and the like) of the metal scene, no one gives it the respect it truly deserves, always dismissing it as the ludicrous splatter fantasies of overgrown adolescents. Well, yeah, it kind of is. But behind all the blast beats, medical terminology, and slurping, slurring vocals, there's an entire world of exciting, fascinating extremity to explore. It seems to me that a lot of typical black and death metal fans dismiss goregrind outright as something immature, and I'm here to set the record straight and talk about some of my very favorite goregrind artists and why you should be listening to them.



Catasexual Urge Motivation

I've already talked about these guys in a previous post, so I'm not going to spend too much time reiterating what I've already said. It's nice, though, that someone has finally uploaded the above track to Youtube. Catasexual Urge Motivation is my very favorite band of all time, and the track above should easily display why. A goregrind band at heart, Catasexual Urge Motivation synthesized the nightmarish, sterile industrial of Godflesh with the disorganized rage of Impetigo, and in the process created some of the most terrifying and authentic music ever recorded. The song above, 'Murder is Better Than Birth', is a wonderful example of their bizarre proclivities. You have the gorgeously gory post-Autopsy crunch chords as an opening, the hideous, churning blast-n-pick verse, and then a progressive dissolving into scattered, predatory industrial beats and weird concessions to early grind and thrash ala Repulsion. Beautiful, every moment of it.



Lymphatic Phlegm

(Funny enough, if you go to the actual Youtube page for the above video, you'll see that the uploader lifted my very own review of the contained album from Metal Archives)

Lymphatic Phlegm is a sadly disbanded two-man goregrind nightmare from Brazil who, like C.U.M. above, also employ a drum machine, but to a very different effect. The above video contains several tracks from their second album, which I believe just might be their best release ever. Originally beginning as a noisy slab of Carcass worship, Lymphatic Phlegm rapidly transcended those boundaries and recaptured, amazingly enough, the essence of '70s and '80s heavy and thrash metal within their riffs. Listen to some of the songs above and you'll find, buried within the blast beats and pitch-shifted vocals, a strikingly sophisticated sense of melody that's as neoclassical as it is blood-spattered. No band before or since has sounded like Lymphatic Phlegm. I own nearly all their hard-to-find splits for a reason along with a t-shirt I've never seen anywhere else. If you think goregrind is moronic, this should be more than enough to convince you otherwise.



Paracoccidioidomicosisproctitissarcomucosis

Typically known for their extraordinarily long name and not their music, Paracoccidioidomicosisproctitissarcomucosis are actually one of the greatest goregrind bands to ever exist. Their first album 'Satyriasis & Nymphomania' (from which the above track is taken) is an absolute triumph of the style. It takes Carcass' simple, rough take on primitive death metal and grindcore and drives it to a level far beyond anything humans had seen before, so fast, raw, and purulent that it seems more like noise than proper music much of the time. Within the swirling morass of viscera and bile, though, is a grasp of demented, mad-scientist riffcraft and lurching, deranged song structure that conveys a sense of imminent evil and violence more intense than almost anything else in metal. The above track is one of my favorites by them, especially considering its surprisingly long running time for a straightforward goregrind track- the band just keeps churning out twists and turns in the song and bizarre new riffs. For those a little less noise and improv-inclined, the second album is a minor step down in intensity but a major step forward in coherency, coming across as much more refined than anything on the first.

(As a side note, it should come as little surprise that Catasexual Urge Motivation is in the related videos to the above track. They're brothers in spirit, if not sound, helping to push goregrind far beyond what you thought was possible.)



Gruesome Malady

Another goregrind duo, but this time from India of all places. Imagine combining Paracoccidioidomicosisproctitissarcomucosis' sense of deranged chaos with the more refined songwriting and virtuosic guitar playing of Lymphatic Phlegm and you have some idea of what this sounds like. The guitarwork of Gruesome Malady tends to have more in common with Gorguts than Carcass, with long, convoluted riffs which seemingly have no end over a chaotic bed of percussion. Of course, as intelligent as the songwriting is, it'd be missing the point to dismiss the sheer putridity of this band's atmosphere- no other band in goregrind that I've heard manages to make more disgusting, sewer-sounding music. The disgusting, wet vocals, bizarre guitar conflagrations, and perpetual assault via drums makes for a dizzying and chaotic listen. While the two splits the band did in its time I feel are somewhat weak, their single full-length album is an unparalleled classic in goregrind.



Blue Holocaust

Yet another drum machine project, but this time from only one man- in this case, a Frenchman obsessed with giallo horror. The sole full-length of this project 'Twitch of the Death Nerve', is a brilliant example of intelligent yet traditional goregrind at its best. Bringing much of the early grind sound ala Repulsion or Terrorizer back in the almost hardcore employment of tension-building drum machine antics, Blue Holocaust likes to explode into totally chaotic arrangements of blast beats, tremolo riffs, and roaring, distorted vocals before abruptly coming back together for moments that could almost be described as thrashy were it not for the blown-out, horrific production. I got the full-length (pretty hard to find these days) for just $5 from my bros in The Leviathan's Mandible (another wonderful grind band you should check out) the last time they were in town, and I can't thank them enough for it.

This is the first entry of probably 2 parts that I'll write on exquisite, beautiful goregrind and all its hideous facets, so check back next week for part 2!

4 comments:

  1. Wait a minute, when the fuck did Lymphatic Phlegm split up? Not cool, brah.

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  2. last year i think, the two dudes are living in different parts of brazil now so nothing's happening. didn't have a big official breakup or something but i'm pretty sure it's over now.

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  3. Nice write-up for this underappreciated genre. I’m definitely going to check out some more Paracoccidioidomicosisproctitissarcomucosis. When they just started I kinda wrote them off as ‘like a constantly fast version of the Disgorge (Mex) debut with a novelty bandname‘ and never bothered with them again. But I guess I was wrong because like the debut of aforementioned band their music is not just ridiculously brutal (as expected) but also seems to have a very nasty and unsettling atmosphere that instantly makes them stand out among their peers.

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  4. You forgot about last days of humanity, and general surgery.....

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