In this post, I'm gonna feature some of my favorite straight-up grindcore albums. I can see the look of breathless anticipation on your face. I'll try to keep the reviews short. Gotta stick to the grind theme!
Kill The Client's Cleptocracy: nonstop aggression, pounding drums, roaring lyrics about the government, and all-too-typical grind fare. The combination of these ferocious elements leads to a monster of an album clocking in at just above twenty-two minutes. Each song is an example of the monumental amount of energy that Kill The Client puts into their music. "Bulletproof Vultures," the title track, and "The Lies" are all swarming with grinding brutality.
The production and mixing of this album is what makes it stand out from the majority of other grind albums. The loose snare and somewhat-fuzzy guitar leads to a very satisfying crunch as if you're actually stepping on the heads of government officials with your black leather combat boots. Kill The Client isn't musically retarded either (unlike many grindcore artists). They actually know what they're doing with some of these riffs, employing interesting progressions and harmonics with relative ease. Due to the high speed of the tracks, this doesn't particularly become apparent until "Downfall" which is a chugging, instrumental monstrosity. In fact the last few tracks seem to slow the pace somewhat, which is disappointing, but it allows that crunch sound to come through your speakers that much more effectively. This releases' double-edged sword (or bullet?) if this album has one.
As an exercise in aggression, the album is one of grindcore's numerous plateaus of success. The mixing and production is absolutely superb and the energy with which Kill The Client performs their tracks is unparalleled. There are some qualms with the album in that it does somewhat weaken towards the end, and the blistering speed and aggression doesn't really allow much to soak in on one listen, but that's the whole goddamn point of grindcore. Oh, and the last track is an Infest cover. Go figure.
8.25 out of 10
This one's a classic. Everyone knows it, everyone loves it. "Oratorio In Grey" and "The Necropolitan" are some of my favorite grindcore tracks and these guys may have had a passing influence on the gods known as Crowpath. So I figured I'd give it a proper review as well since I was already reviewing Kill The Client's Cleptocracy.
Discordance Axis' The Inalienable Dreamless. What an album. This is a grindcore album that has it all - vocal range, creative dissonant riffing, aggression and energy, and a bone to pick with the world. The lyrics are relatively ambiguous compared to other grindcore albums with their "fuck the man" attitude. I found that to be somewhat interesting for a grind approach, but the whole album is seething with a unique flare. Songs like "The Necropolitan" begin with several dissonant tritones (redundancy my ass), "Oratorio In Grey" has a classic headbanging rhythm, and "Jigsaw" has a bunch of semi-melodic riffs uncharacteristic for grindcore. The screeching vocal work of John Chang is pretty sweet and his performance has remained one of my favorites in grindcore. I think the only modern band really exhibiting a similar style would be Noisear.
The only weakness of the album is the track "A Leaden Stride To Nowhere," a 4-minute conclusion to The Inalienable Dreamless. It's not an exciting track by any means and really offsets the pace and rhythm that the album had going prior. Despite this, the album is still great as a whole and pretty much required listening for any fan of grindcore. It's just such a shame that Discordance Axis had to split-up so early in their career.
8.25 out of 10