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Grind over Europe 4


Jabez Clegg, Manchester 15.11.04

(review n pix by MWJ)


WARNING: The following review unashamedly contains ingredients of obnoxious and offensive noise liable to be harmful to musical taste. Viewers of a narrow or sensible disposition are advised to seek mainstream help.

A beer hall in a side street opposite the main University venues is the setting for tonight’s celebration of glorious ear-bashing. With maybe 150 or so in, the place still seems a bit cold, good job the music energy can raise the temperature.

Feel reviewing EDT kind of robs a bit of their thunder, as the five minute (several song?) nature of their set of mental screaming jazz-core is the most striking feature. Having seen them before in Leeds this is obviously their deliberate strategy, intensity rather than quantity, and certainly succeeds in a hit and run slap upon the watchers.

Howling Slayeresque guitars and a doomy intro signal Archer, soon kicking into a groove of sludge metal. They touch many bases outside of this in their tunes though, flashes of thrashy rock, Dillinger Math-core and even black metal atmospherics. Tight performance all round.

Narcosis were on the last of these "Grind…" outings and remain a phenomenal experience. Truly insane speed, I’d challenge many a so called guitar maestro to the match the berserk riffing (or accompanying gurning), the drummer is a relentless force of nature, incredibly precise and diverse in the impact he provides. The singer is more engaged with the crowd this time (they still focus a lot of their attention on the drummer though), amusing middle finger dedication to the straight edgers. Excellent, wince inducing feedback also incorporated.



Halo from Australia, are a fascinating contrast to the hyper speed. Just drummer and bass/vocals, it’s grind in another literal sense. The pounding beats (including 2 floor toms) provide a foundation for the incredible sonic violence from the bass, fed through various pedals and seemingly several amps, clanking, roaring, throbbing, brutally tortured industrial vibes. Sparse vocals are bayed fury, anti-system rant "You are the shit…from which grows…prosperity". In the best way this is reminiscent of Godflesh dirges or particularly pissed off –era Swans, and the visceral strength of unleashed bass is also inspirational to me, being a follower of the four stringed path to enlightenment.

TFD crank the tempo up to the max again. Although the structures remain relatively simple and effective, they seem more focussed in their playing (even if the eyes seem to betray dope related lack of focus) than the last time and better for it. There’s an ironic cartoon element in the extremity to their grind, three octaves of scream and growl from all four of the members to deliver classics like "No-one suspects the necro-anarchist" and "kill the c*nts and eat their brains". That’ll be the ballad then. As with Narcosis the good-humoured enjoyment of the insanity on and off-stage would probably strike as odd/mad to those who are horrified by the noise, but there you go, black humour, etc.


After a bit of a delay in setting up Pig Destroyer’s much anticipated impact is initially disappointing. The recent release of their "terrifyer" album on Relapse has gained a lot of impressive reviews for its sheer rough nastiness. The three-piece’s (voc, drms, gtr) problems stem from a poor guitar sound though, as when this is sorted it rapidly becomes very impressive, especially from the stripped down line-up. Scott Hull’s guitar defines it, an evilly distorted endless progression of vicious riffs, whether death or thrash styled but with a punk bite to them also, especially in conjunction with explosive drumming. The vocalists screaming is counterpointed with his straightforward appreciation to the crowd between songs, as well as a well received dedication of the whole tour to John Peel, the legacy is far and wide. The packed pit for them features some of the most riotous moshing seen by me in some time (trying not to be too cowering at one side), including out and out (brief) fight between floor-punching high-kicking kid and "hard" man / immovable object but that’s rapidly swept aside in enjoyment of friendly violent fun. The band ekes out one song as an encore but everyone seems more then satisfied. Let the bastards grind you down.

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