Ten From the Tomb 8/16/18: Inherit this new world of contamination.

TEN FROM THE TOMB is a weekly feature in the form of a themed list devoted to grouping together albums of similar interest that I missed throughout the year. These albums were overlooked for review for any number of reasons with the most common reason being constraints of time. I have a policy of covering 99% of everything I receive in some form, be it mini-review or full-feature, so don’t hesitate to send anything and everything my way.

Here I present a ten album sampler of some grindcore and/or deathgrind relevant releases I’ve so far overlooked this year. Consider it a soundtrack to your weekend spent furiously tapping through social media overwhelmed by the slow-motion apocalypse unfolding around you as you become paralyzed into inaction due to the intended effect of chaotic barrages of conflicting information. You’re playing right into your oppressor’s bloody hands. Most of these albums made it here to Ten From the Tomb because I couldn’t manage the time for a long-form review or because I really didn’t have more than a paragraph or two’s worth of insight beyond banal description. If you don’t like grindcore, relax! This’ll be back every seven days with 10 more albums from different styles, genres, themes, etc.

Hey! Don’t dive in thinking this will all be pig squeals and terrible 2000’s hardcore riffs passed off as the real death. I generally skipped over the truly gimmicky shit and tried to find releases that do something a bit different. The inspiration came on a whim, but most weeks I post a poll on Patreon so that Patrons can pick between genre/concepts as I dig through hundreds of not-yet-reviewed releases looking for continuity. This isn’t so much a collection of dregs and flops but rather a selection meant to convey diversity within underground technical music’s sphere of influence, keep in mind I’m not at all a grindcore expert beyond like 1995. Think my opinions are trash and that I suck? Want to totally tell me off, bro? Click away and let’s all live more sensible lives full of meaningful interactions. I’m too old and bored with people to care.


Artist Galvanizer
Title [Type/Year] Sanguine Vigil [Full-length/2018]
Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

This Finnish death/grind trio cover some amazing ground on their quick and dirty debut full-length as they channel both classic Finnish death metal and early grindcore influences. Their sound pays tribute to both the heavy, heavy influence ‘Symphonies of Sickness’ had on Finland’s underground but also dives headfirst into some solid Finndeath grooves along the way. Fans of Terrorizer, Xysma, and Carnage will find what they’re looking for on ‘Sanguine Vigil’. I never got around to this promo as it was the oldest release in a grouping and in saving it for last I kept pushing it’s review back further until I realized I didn’t have a ton to say about it. The production is seemingly intentionally murky and ‘old school’ in it’s rumbling claustrophobia inducing atmosphere and I felt like it works great for the doomed death metal sections but the faster deathgrind became weirdly muddy when things sped up. A good release that never managed to inspire me personally.


Artist One Day in Fukushima
Title [Type/Year] Ozymandias [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Italy’s hardcore punk and grindcore scenes are legendary and One Day in Fukushima represents a modern take on that old school system that sucks in some later Napalm Death and Pig Destroyer and spits out a pretty decent debut full-length. Keep in mind when I say modern obviously I don’t mean like Gridlink or whatever and most of ‘Ozymandias’ is straight forward blasting grindcore with some death metal elements. If you’re an equal of that Misery Index style shit as well as Venomous Concept this’ll all likely work well for your tastes. I found some of it started to resemble bad 2000’s blast-lead death metal too often and felt like a miscarriage of that era’s Midwest US and Polish death metal in terms of drumming. More for the die-hard deathgrind crowd and less for my taste.


Artist Human Cull
Title [Type/Year] Revenant [EP/2018]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

British grindcore band Human Cull offer some remarkable balance between the old and new on their puritanically filthy take on grind past and present. There are nods to the oldest vomited chaos of ‘From Enslavement to Obliteration’ as often as there are Origin-worthy shocks of inspired blasts and mania. The brutality carries ‘Revenant’ for it’s 19 minutes as they carry the small spectacle of grindcore as far as it can go within simple means. It is far from the best grind I’ve heard all year but their style is so impressively energetic and inclusive of many grind sub-genres that it ends up being a fairly substantial listen despite how short it is; They carry in some death metal, some crust punk and even some discordant musings here and there. ‘Revenant’ feels fully ’round’ as a grindcore release even though it does kinda go off the rails in the second half. I found I really didn’t want to leave Human Cull on repeat after about a half hour and thus didn’t absorb it on any meaningful level.


Artist Hostia
Title [Type/Year] Hostia [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

I know dude, another middling death/grind band and this one even more brutal than the last three. Don’t click away just yet because there are some decent riffs happening on this Polish band’s debut. If you’re a fan of Napalm Death‘s post 1998 catalog and/or Nasum you’re going to find something to like about Hostia. The influence is really clear but there is some chuggy metallic hardcore to break things up and some cleaner vocals shake things up even more. It’s like if Misery Index or Assuck were covered by Trauma. I found myself wanting more of the style they toyed with on “Home Rough Home” and their best heavier moments never really stacked up to the creative bouts from bands like Antigama. I’ll definitely be watching this band in the future.


Artist Sissy Spacek
Title [Type/Year] Ways of Confusion [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Fuck. Well I have to admit I couldn’t make it through all of John Weise‘s harsh and unforgiving 30+ release noisecore-cum-grindcore discography. Long a renowned experimental noise maniac and occasional Sunn O))) contributor Weise is joined by former Knelt Rote drummer/vocalist Charlie Mumma for an album that rivals any and all of the harshest blasting music I’ve heard all year, even Subduer somehow, and just makes my fucking holes bleed. Honestly I just couldn’t handle it even when I just tried to focus on the clanging guitar tones and severe blasts for almost 40 tracks, and this from a guy who can put Benumb and crap like that on repeat for hours. Disorientation, anxiety, depression, frustration, and I guess other things I don’t want to feel come easily while listening to Sissy Spacek and… you can discover the value of facing your most primal fears on your own, I’m too soft.


Artist Nequient
Title [Type/Year] Wolves at the Door [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [4.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

If I make a ‘-core’ related list this year eclectic metallic hardcore outfit Nequient will surely be close to the top as the Chicago quartet already show far greater structural aptitude and bristling energy compared to many of their peers who are too distracted by sludge and post-metal tomfoolery. I know it’s gonna sound way more douche-like than I intend but Nefarious Industries roster offers a substantive remedy for the overblown Holy Roar Records line-up this year, and I just mean in terms of putting out forward thinking young bands that show some incredible potential. Nequient is one such acquisition and ‘Wolves at the Door’ runs circles around similar bands mutating grind, sludge, and post-mathcore forms into a weirdly blackened hardcore mixture. I really couldn’t wrap my head around this one for a while and by the time I was ready to review it I found all of my notes were messy and pointless rambling. At least Zevious will get some love soon, but for now I can only just recommend Nequient as one of the more overlooked oddballs from the first half of the year. It doesn’t necessarily fit right next to the deathgrind/grindcore theme but then again it wouldn’t have fit on any math/noise/-core list otherwise and should appeal to the grind sector as much as the prog-sludgers.


Artist Axia
Title [Type/Year] Pulverizer [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [2.5/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Although a wide variety of impressive extreme metal comes from Portugal I’m honestly not at all familiar with the grindcore stuff and find more often than not the highest quality export is typically black metal. In fact Axia is made up of members of the Portuguese underground’s burgeoning elite with musicians from The Ominous Circle and well known grinders Holocausto Canibal. ‘Pulverizer’ is an odd beast and seems to always pull from left-field as blackened croaks and blasting grindcore make for a release that doesn’t put the listener through a constant meat grinder and instead many tracks resemble the sort of polished groove metal influenced dark metal common in Europe’s more popular sects. Blackened atmospheric dark grind? You know, most of the time I wouldn’t even call it grindcore to be honest. The divergence between screeching Nasum / Lock Up style grind towards groove metal (Meshuggah is name dropped, somehow…) ended up just annoying the shit out of me. It just wasn’t really my thing and reminded me of bad mid 2000’s metal where labels like Century Media and Nuclear Blast basically gave Behemoth‘s production to alt-metal bands. Maybe I’m way off, hence why I never really formed a full review for Axia‘s debut.


Artist Maggot Casket
Title [Type/Year] Maggot Casket [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [3.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Kentucky old school death metal band Maggot Casket formed during a period of inactivity for their main blackened sludge/doom metal project Highgate. You’ll hear some Repulsion, some Autopsy, some doom and heavy metal riffs and all of it sort of coalesces into a sludge of growling, sludgy, grinding death metal music. I felt there was just enough old school grindcore (again, think Repulsion) that I could fit this on this list. The production, or lack of, is distant and quiet and very much evokes the dead soul of an old Wild Rags Records release through and though. I used to get HPGD records pretty regularly and obviously Daggra or whatever might have fit here better, but this is the only one I’ve discovered on my own as of late. Exactly the kind of weird and broken curiosity that keeps me thrilled with digging through extreme metal day-after-day.


Artist Ósserp
Title [Type/Year] Al meu pas s’alça la mort [Full-length/2017]
 Rating [3.25/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Barcelona, Spain based death metal band Ósserp uses a heavy Scandinavian old school death metal sound to drive their grind/hardcore influenced sound to further extremes on their second full-length. Like many bands their hardcore influences have slowed as they press on with heavier sounds but you might find this to your liking if you’re ok with breakdowns mixed in with old school death. Think of groups like Xibalba or even All Out War but that style alternating with influences from Behemoth and NecrophobicÓsserp‘s savagery is refined but comes dangerously close to the wrong kind of deathcore at times and I found myself wanting more Bolt Thrower and less Hatebreed pretty often. A nice underground release that is worthy of it’s niche but didn’t really resonate with me outside of a few impressive or unexpected sections.


Artist Axis of Despair
Title [Type/Year] Contempt For Man [Full-length/2018]
 Rating [4.0/5.0] BUY/LISTEN on Bandcamp!

Last but actually the most compelling and by far the best release on this short list is Swedish grindcore band Axis of Despair. After Nasum dissolved in 2005 drummer/vocalist Anders Jakobson (ex-Necrony) formed Coldworker in 2006 and, with the exception of the current Cut Up guitarist, all members of Coldworker went on to form Axis of Despair with Livet Som Insats guitarist Kristofer Jankarls after that band likewise dissolved in 2013. So, do they just sound like Coldworker? No, actually this project strays far from the weirdly pandering Swedish death metal of their previous self and instead offers a modern take on later Nasum that fits incredibly well alongside groups like Antigama, Napalm Death, and Fuck the Facts. The mix of grooves and grinding cuts completely revives the old spirit of the more polished Nasum stuff. It not only fills the void of nostalgia but should make up for the lack of interesting riffs on certain parts of this list. Easily the best grind release of the year so far just barely edging out Deathgrave but a centimeter.

Did I miss your favorite 2018 grindcore/deathgrind album? I’d like to know if there are any 2018 releases you loved but didn’t get enough recognition. Drop me a line to tell me! It is always worthwhile to speak up for the lesser known stuff. Please remember you can contribute to my Patreon @ only $1 USD per month ($12 a year) to help keep me in front of the computer writing about metal. Thanks.

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