Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bandcamp Picks: Pig Destroyer, General Surgery, Cripple Bastards, Weapon

Described by Jason Heller of the AV Club as “Grindcore for people who don’t like grindcore,” Pig Destroyer's latest album Book Burner seems primed to make every end of the year list; or at the very least, be a topic of conversation between you and your not-as-metal friends. The hooks are heavy, the vocals are mostly decipherable, and you can see the festival circuit mayhem from here. The deluxe edition includes 7 covers of classic hardcore bands like Black Flag, the Misfits, and Minor Threat. Not sure that justifies the hefty $16 price tag for a digital download; especially since, this being a Pig Destroyer record, there's only about 40 minutes worth of music. Deluxe version for the die hards, regular one for the rest of us, I reckon.

A snarky play on the title of a classic Swedish death metal album? It must be General Surgery (formed, it should be noted, by two Dismember-ers back in 1988). Of all the bands who've combined the Stockholm buzzsaw sound with Carcass' medical grind (and grime), General Surgery have been doing it the longest. Like An Everflowing Limb is their tightest and most cohesive release in years. As an EP, it also never wears out its welcome, which so many grind albums do nowadays.

I guess the uproar over Cripple Bastards' Almost Human album art has died down; or maybe Relapse is just testing the waters by releasing their Senza Impronte 7". The vocals are in Italian, so I can't comment on how far CB have strayed from their PC punk-baiting. It has to be said, however, that the music is unimpeachable. It's much more metallic than I expected; I've always put CB on the crusty/punk side of the grind divide, but some of these riffs wouldn't be out of place on a Vio-lence album. I've seriously listened to this 3 times in a row, a testament not just to its quality but also its brevity.

Taking a break from grind, last month brought Embers and Revelations, the first Relapse release by Canada's Weapon (and third overall).Vaguely occultist lyrics and running mascara aside, I find Weapon has more in common with the Quo Vadis/Neuraxis camp of Canadian melodic death metal than the blackened death bin that Relapse seems intent to stuff them into (seriously, Behemoth and Impiety would eat these guys alive). This style still has a lot of mileage in it; whether Weapon will get it is debatable. Maybe not essential, but enjoyable.

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