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with the Hobo

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Rating Guide
95% - 100%: Mind-blowing! The complete package! Buy this without hesitation!

85% - 95%: Killer release for the genre, check it out.

80% - 85%: Solid release with a few minor shortcomings.

70% - 80%: A little disappointing, but hints at potential and by no means 'bad'. I'll await future recordings before final judgement.

60% - 70%: Unimpressive, average and quite possibly boring.

< 60%: Don't waste your time on this piece of rotting faecal matter.

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Heed my words you Seppo swine: antiMUSIC is proud to announce the launch of Thrash Pit - a webzine dedicated to the more extreme end of the musical spectrum. So for all your metal & hardcore review needs I direct your attention to: www.thrashpit.com

And this will be the final Metal Underground Review posted on antiMUSIC (I think…). You can find me at my new home (Thrash Pit you morons). 
 


Bathtub Sh*tter - Dance Hall Grind

Genre: Porno-Grind 
Year: 2006 
Rating:76% 
 

The newest album from those bizarre sh*t-slinging Japs Bathtub Sh*tter begins with a stylish lo-fi midi-style synthesized grind song - and it doesn't get any more normal from there. To my knowledge this is the best recording and production quality the groups has ever been armed with - and they certainly make the most of it. As they say on their album; catchier, blastier, groovier and sh*ttier than any Bathtub Sh*tter albums preceding!

For those of you unacquainted with these mentally unstable Japanese grinders - I would best describe them as a mix of the French group Gronibard (that bloody high pitched yelp!) and Brutal Truth. That is, predominately mid tempo groove-laden porno grind with some thrashier up-tempo passages. And though their lyrics and overall attitude is sh*t, for the most part they are a fairly musically diverse group. They also f**k around a lot. Oh and all their songs are literally about sh*t in broken English. Enjoy!

Purchase online



Brutal Truth - Goodbye Cruel World! (2CD Reissue) 

Genre: Grindcore
Year: 1994 
Rating: 70%
Label: Relapse Records 

Reissue by Relapse Records. Disc one is 23 live songs taken from a Brutal Truth tour in Sydney, Australia featuring the likes of Choice of a New Generation, Walking Corpses, Pork Farm, Kill Trend Suicide, Godplayer, I Killed My Family, Hippie Cult and many more. The recording quality for the live section could've been better - the guitar and bass for the most part are fairly indiscernible and indecipherable. The drums are very, very week in the mix - bar the symbols. Kevin Sharp is the only member of the band with decent levels/mix. Disc Two seems to be a collection of rare tracks, b-sides, split tracks and a couple of sporadic live takes.

A good addition to any die-hard fans collection but considering the recording quality, this isn't really a must have. Great group, great live show - but this disc really fails to capture the aggressive sound of Brutal Truth.

Purchase online



Converge - Petitioning An Empty Sky (Reissue) 
Genre: Metallic Hardcore
Year: 2005
Rating: 86%
Label: Equal Vision Records

After seeing a collection of live clips and purchasing You Fail Me and the essential staple Jane Doe, Converge have become one of my favourite groups. I love the fact they do whatever the f**k they feel like, all the time injecting so much pure aggression and above all passion and love for their music; their live performances are electric, their music raw, furious and uncompromisingly brutal - and their lyrics powerful.

Equal Vision Records have taken it upon themselves to reissue Converge's earlier albums coupled with a few cool extras. At this midpoint in their career Converge are still every bit as tight, brutal, dissonant and extreme - but with a greater focus on sharp, discordant riffing. The complicated fingering, atonal vocals and odd time signatures just add to the whirlwind of blood and splintered bone that is the chaotic music of Converge.

On Petitioning an Empty Sky (Reissue) there are however a few seemingly sub-par tracks (such as Farewell Note). Regardless there are enough skull crushing uptempo violent bursts to make this album worthwhile (The Saddest Day, Colour Me Blood Red) and the bonus live tracks and cool slipcase just sweeten the deal. 

Purchase online

Frightmare - Bringing Back the Bloodshed

Genre: Death/Thrash Gore/Grind
Year: 2006
Rating: 83%
Label: Equal Vision Records

Now this is how gore should be done! Infused with plenty of thrash, groove and grind with killer song structures, and huge production values. Mixing up grooves, blasts, thrashy Ghoul-type riffs and screeching solos Frightmare's sophomore effort only improves on their debut. The vocal variation is great; ranging from higher range screams, Carcass type snarls, death metal grunts and a range of pitch shifted guttural growls. A solid CD and another killer release from Razorback Records. 

Frightmare have returned! Be afraid.

Purchase online



Gadget - The Funeral March

Genre: Swedish Grindcore 
Year: 2006
Rating: 96%
Label: Relapse Records

After the extremely untimely demise of Nasum, people have been looking for another band to fill the unfillable void the worlds greatest grindcore group left behind. Many have claimed that band to be Gadget - another rising Swedish grindcore outfit with the same sheer unabated aggression in their music. No disrespect intended to the band - but no one will ever replace Nasum, and I don't believe anyone will or should try to.

Furthermore, as some people have labeled Rotten Sound, Gadget have been accused of being 'Nasum clones'. And while I can see the strong influence, I believe Gadget (and Rotten Sound) stand alone stylistically, and that it is a disservice to these groups to call them as such. 

The first time I heard Gadget's H5N1 off the new album, it blew me away. Here was a group playing up-tempo grind with the same intensity and violence of Kill the Client, but with a focus on a much more progressive grindcore sound. The guitars, clear and razor sharp, shred though an impressive array of varied riffs. The drummer is of course, extremely proficient to say the least. And the vocalist has an aggressive mid-range vocal with enough range to shift his voice up or down a few octaves as required.

To tell you the truth, after listening to Kill the Client's Wage Slave and Rotten Sound's Exit and Murderworks, I would have to say these guys are hands down the most impressive and promising rising group in the realm of grind. In my opinion, they have already surpassed Rotten Sound's last excellent full length. An exceedingly promising sophomore - these guys will definitely be one to watch. I have no idea why they are not better known in their home country. Need I make myself any clearer? Buy this f**king album!

Purchase online



Hymen Holocaust - Necromance

Genre: Gore/Grind
Year: 2006
Rating: 70%
Label: No Escape Records

2006 seems to be the year for Dutch gore. Following No Escape Records' release of the acclaimed Dutch gore/grind outfit Bile's Camp Blood, and preceding the same groups re-release of cult classic The Shed comes Hymen Holocaust's Necromance. Hymen Holocaust is the L.D.O.H. influenced side-project of Marice, the drummer from Clit Eater (who themselves play killer grind infused with humour and gore).

The album is marked by a sickeningly downtuned and distorted bass guitar, simple riffing, pummelling double bass and unintelligible but somewhat varied pitch-shifted vocals, kept interesting by the occasional groove and spates of humour. The humour is actually what kept me slightly interested - take the lyrics of Sick Pervert: I fill your c**t with snakes and eels / you just don't know how good that feels / you're a slave, I'm your master / I am a horny f**kin' bastard.

While this did interest me a tad more than Bile, it's still far from my cup of tea. If you like this kind of stuff you'll probably adore it. I don't. With three reportedly brilliant grind/gore releases, No Escape seems to be on a role.

Purchase online



Images of Violence - Cadaverous Recomposition

Genre: Death/Grind 
Year: 2006
Rating: 72%
Label: Deepsend Records

The Cadaverous Recomposition EP by Images of Violence is hindered by several things; the fairly low quality recording, the extremely low level of bass in the mix, the drums are feebly recorded and the fairly weak Pig Destroyer type imitation guitar tone. That is not to say this is a bad album - the song structures themselves are good - there are a few cool riffs and little tempo changes. But the overall production of this album is such that it lacks punch.

There also seems to be a preoccupation with chugga-type riffs and grooves, lacking the variation and experimentation that made later Pig Destroyer much a success in the world of grind. That being said, while I don't hate this band or the release, I am certainly not moved to get into them. Perhaps subsequent efforts will endear me to them.

Purchase online



Negative Hate - Annabelle the Cannibal

Genre: Death/Grind
Year: 2006
Rating: 85%
Label: Spent Decibel

I came across Negative Hate purely by chance on MySpace. Their streaming MP3 caught my ear so I nonchalantly requested a promotional CD for review. I was confronted with an eerie depiction of a female Japanese Samurai standing over the body of a defeated man, poised to eat his heart. I looked through the booklet to find an impressive band logo and extremely odd song names such as Eagle Shaped Indian Boy and Milk Faeces Trap.

Then I threw the CD on. Brutal soundscapes infused with grindcore, metalcore and some industrial flavours greeted my ears. From my first listen I could tell there was nothing generic about the group. The music is underscored with start/stop passages, awkward, crusty Converge type riffs and various screams being lost in a wall of noise. The lyrics are akin to Pig Destroyer or Converge, similar in their semi-poetic style.

This New York group certainly has some strange ideas. At times they reminded me of Biolich because of the disjointed structures, varied vocal attacks and the ability to seemingly switch between any number of extreme genres at a whim. While unlike Biolich, the album started to peter off towards the end, I definitely want to hear all future efforts from this group. A very impressive and unique release worth checking out. The group are selling their album at for $10 USD , and are currently working on some whacked-out multi faceted multimedia DVD. 

That's it f**kheads! See you over at Thrash Pit (www.thrashpit.com) or Grindhead Records (www.grindheadrecords.com)! Oh, and Ebolie has a MySpace site now (www.myspace.com/ebolie). 

-Hobo.



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