The blood-smeared sledgehammer of classic grindcore instrumentation has always depended upon structural developments pulled from a hardcore punk informatic, a rubberized energy that brings not only a sense of speed but directional force. Depending on your interest in the first two decades of hardcore you could probably ‘take it or leave it’ though many of those same techniques informed everything from first wave black metal to Swedish death metal. In fact Dutch grindcore band Suffering Quota seem intent on loosening up beyond the boundaries of traditional grind sounds in both hardcore punk and death metal directions. Longer tracks, bigger riffs, heavier sounds, and a laser focus on unjust atrocities that define our times help to make ‘Life in Disgust’ one of the better grind records of the year.
Suffering Quota pull from a wide cut of influences that span the wealth of metal/punk old and new. I picked up on some neocrust, Scandinavian hardcore, some of Assück‘s brutality, and a fair shake of Yacøpsæ and Nasum alike. The actual style of ‘Life in Disgust’ is more or less in the approach where they’ve nailed the traditions of grindcore and then figured how far they could take relevant influences without jumping outside the box of the genre and unto a stylized hybrid. There is some great merit to working ‘within the box’ as the performances are inspired and often more memorable than they appear thanks to the variation offered by both crust punk and death metal exploration. This is more or less how I’d also describe a record like Nasum‘s ‘Human 2.0’ and if you toss in some mid-90’s Discordance Axis you’d have a pretty good idea what to expect from this record.
There are a few small gripes that became somewhat glaring as I spent more time with ‘Life in Disgust’ but the only one that continues to bug me is the general volume of the samples. There are about four instances where peak intensity is either preceded or faded into a spoken word sample and they’re slightly too loud. I’d have the record cranked and “Taste… your stink!” would blare just a bit louder. Yep, a nonsense gripe but I felt it was worth a mention. I will sit down with any combination of crust punk, grindcore, and death metal and generally like it thanks to an undying obsession with Discharge and Terrorizer so I’m a sucker for this stuff. Gauge your own interest accordingly. For my taste this is a ripper, a pure-but-tweaked wave of the best kind of grind. Highly recommended. For preview I think “God Complex” is the perfect introduction to Suffering Quota‘s sound but I’d also recommend “Anger” for that early 2000’s grind reprisal sound as well as “Apathy” which best exemplifies the amount of change to their approach since the previous record.
Neverending corporate-funded sociopathy. 4.0/5.0
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