Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Honorable Mentions from the Abyss #12: Violent Opposition+Strappado+Grevia+VHS

Hey brutalbangers,
it's been a while that there are no episodes of "Honorable Mentions from the Abyss", so I'm going to resume it just today.
Hence, today you'll have the occasion to meet in a single time 4 bands that are mostly linked, in some ways, with grindcore. And one of them plays grindcore in a very original way, so...


Service communication:

before reading this article, you must know that my ebook about the first wave of black metal called "Nel Segno del Marchio Nero" was released on 24th March 2019. Unfortunately, it is written only in Italian but, surely, into it there aren't the over-rehearsed things à la Lord of Chaos. If you want to buy my ebook, you can order it through the best Italian and international stores like FeltrinelliIBSAmazon and Barnes & NobleThank you in advance!


How can't you love the incredible underground live activity of a band called Violent Opposition (FB page), that played in 2018 a US tour comprising over 100 live gigs? And how can't you love the absurd creativity of these Violent Opposition, that released the beauty of 5 full-lenght albums only since 2014? By these words, you can already understand the stakhanovism of a Californian band playing in a very original sound, showing it, for example, in an album entitled "Utopia/Dystopia". This was originally released in 2017 in digital format but, fortunately, the Polish label Selfmadegod Records, always ready to publish experimental stuff in the grindcore genre, noticed Violent Opposition, so it released "Utopia/Dystopia" in CD format just this year... and it did very fukken well!

This because Violent Opposition are one of the strangest bands I listened to in these last times! In fact, they play an incredibly technical and jazz-influenced grindcore. Every track of this album is a pure, virtuosistic craziness made of spastic tempo changes where the blast-beats are predominant, plenty of bestial vocals belonging to the grindcore/power violence spectrum and schizoid guitars, affecting also an atmosphere that's really bizzarre, hypnotic and, in some ways, psychedelic. And if all this wasn't enough, you must know that Violent Opposition are used to destroy your ears (and your minds!) also in tracks lasting even 6 minutes (i.e. "Lies Pollute the Mind") while others, if possible, are strangest and more experimental, like in the case of the demented "False Scarcity". Fuck, it's a fortune that there is also a slower number as "Watch the End"... even though it's only the last track of an album that is able to annihilate every neuron you have just before that song! Violent Opposition: how you can still play grindcore with an unprecedented originality in 2019!

Strappado (FB page)... what do you remember by reading this moniker? FUCK YEEEAAH, it's the title of the first (and only) album of the Canadian death/thrash metal punkers Slaughter! But it's also the name of a funny, absolutely harmless Medieval torture. So, how this Spanish quartet called Strappado can plays, considering that they released just this year a bloody debut album through Comatose Music? Well, you can find the right answer simply by knowing the usual stuff released by that label...

Yes, "Exigit Sincerae Devotionis Affectus", that I had through Imperative PR, is a merciless compendium of classic brutal death metal in the sign of other torture junkies like Brodequin! You know, the variety isn't a strong point of force of this kind of genre but Strappado are good enough to offer a tracklist consisting of numbers such as the somehow melodic "Holy Office" ("somehow melodic", he!), the instrumental titletrack, the grinding 20-second massacre "Twenty Fingers", and "Abbey of Painful Screams", that ends the album through a slower pace as well a darker mood. So, in the album there's a sufficient amount of variety useful to excite curiosity in the listeners, also thanks to some (but few, anyway) slamming parts throughout the album. In addition, I love and I disgust at the same time the torture samples that you'll find in some songs, like in the opening "The Rack", whose sample is really fukken frightening! If you would like to taste a little the Medieval Inquisition, well, "Exigit Sincerae Devotionis Affectus" is perfect to torture you to the ears!

It's official: Davide Billia has the gift of all-presence! After Godless Enthropia, Failure (but I lost them in the Go! Fest #8), Antropofagus and Coffin Birth, he's again on these putrid pages as a session drummer for Grevia (FB page)! I wonder how he can be so hyper-active... but he isn't the only known face involved in this Sicilian trio named as Grevia. In fact, their debut EP "Misophonic" was mixed and mastered by none other than Marco Mastrobuono, known for his militancy in the ultra-grind maniacs Buffalo Grillz and in the same Coffin Birth, at the Kick Recording Studios, located in my Rome.

Released by Lethal Scissor Records and promoted by Imperative PR, "Misophonic" shows 6 tracks in which you'll be bombarded without compliments by a very dynamic death/grindcore characterized by strong influences coming from brutal death metal as well hardcore punk. And I said "very dynamic" because Grevia are able not only to be ultra-fast but also sloooow (i.e. "Even Open Hole"), and this isn't a case since the guitarist Giorgio plays in the pachidermic Assumption... so he's another known face involved in this band! Plus, he spits out some guitar solos, a feature not so present in the death/grind genre, so they are very welcome. Now, Davide Billia or not, Grevia are superb and promises a lot of upcoming destruction in the future!

That moniker, VHS, reminds me of those childish days when I was used to record from the TV a bunch of movies for kids... BUT these VHS (FB page) have nothing to do with those "movies for kids"! In fact, this Canadian band consists of three freaks literally obsessed until death with the good (and bad) '80s horror movies. And they confirm again this obsession with their third album, "We're Gonna Need Some Bigger Riffs" (Horror Pain Death Gore Productions, 2019), that has a cover artwork so silly that I love it without any doubts!

After the very horrific intro "Full Scream Ahead", you have to expect an album dominated by a raw and grotesque death/thrashcore perfect for everyone into bands like Macabre, Autopsy, Slaughter and younger acts like Nekrofilth. This album, that I had through the Italian agency Anubi Press, contains 14 tracks and, among them, there are some absurdities such as the slow and Slaughter-esque "Rooting for the Villain" and, especially, that crazy heavy metal anthem (with a nice guitar solo) called "Death and Carnage Coming in Waves". But the coolest thing is that, as guest singers, you'll find Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder) just in the first aforementioned song while, in the other, there is Matt Harvey, that, for the truth, isn't new to these heavy metal experiments since his Pounder. And finally, don't forget to watch the lyric video, made in a very vintage-style, of "From the Murky Depths"!

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