Saturday, January 12, 2013
Gruesome Stuff Relish - Sempiternal Death Grind 
I had a nice run with Spain last year: Ataraxy, Necroven, Proclamation, Tsar Bomb, Mass Burial, and Banished From Inferno's excellent ''Minotaur'' the year before to top it off. So, naturally, the same kind of aping that was previous nearly exclusive to the States, Australia and Finland has swollen, and tumor-like, the Spanish death metal scene today has grown into a feral, rehashing mega-factory that commits its self to nothing what their masters Entombed, Dismember, Autopsy, Death and Bolt Thrower succeeded circa 1988-1993, and yet another protuberance in the ever widening arboretum of old school death and grind emerges; Gruesome Stuff Relish. Let me just make it clear that Gruesome Stuff Relish are hardly confronting the laws of physics as far as grinding chainsaw buzz goes, and this could have easily been the sophomore album for Rogga Johansson's newly born Humanity Delete if you exchanged the deep inflection for a sneering timbre of frivolous voracity, barking about.
Their sophomore was entirely dedicated to Terrorizer, Carcass and Repulsion, a bludgeon of Swedish chainsaw anchoring the barricade of riffs, but the Spaniards expend their retinue to a somewhat higher level here, enriching the chord patterns by letting a manifest of melody and crunchiness gush through the gory, bloody context as if the caveman's wooden bat earned itself a few sharpened nails along the way. Gruesome Stuff Relish have surprisingly prominent dominance over their dynamics, forging carnal tunes that could not only revive a band of decapitated zombies but also has a certain beat to it, which means they've stepped up their game by a margin, introducing even more accessible guitars that rip with a horrendously sodden chomp, catchy grooves, and the vocals, all gurgles and snares. One thing that I found rather queer was the band's aural preferences along the way. ''Sempiternal Death Grind'' is all bones and decomposed corpses from start to finish, but I found them to have growing sympathy for more spectral, doom-laden moments - well not exactly doom like, but rather a sludgier gait - wherein the band jumps right into a hollow, eager to deliver the murk with higher resonance. Something that we're experiencing way too frequently these days.
Like most death/grind acts, Gruesome Stuff Relish have their ambient passages of multiple subjects circulating through horror and zombies rising from their graves, a little addition to the music that should be able to draw some attention for fans of spurious horror. This record was certainly a point earned for the group, but it's still not as strong as some of the major usurpers of gore and horror, and the Spaniards definitely have a long way to get there. I was hoping that they could rend the atmospheric inclination they showed here even more discernible to something that I at least favor more than straightforward, pulsing grindcore, but hell, even if I don't get my wish we've still got a dozen of worthy headbanging material, with an equal amount of horror segments attached to it. ''Sempiternal Death Grind'' is embracing the 80's in both ways. Just grab some popcorn and plug the headphones in. You won't regret it, not for a couple of spins, anyway.
Sex Drugs and Grind