(NCS reader Black Shuck provides this guest post about an eviscerating Canadian band.)
DEAD BABIES. On a related note, let’s talk about a band called Fetus Grinder.
Fetus Grinder are a death metal trio from Vancouver, British Columbia, and as the name might imply, they are firmly entrenched in the “let’s be as gory and offensive as possible” school of death metal. This initially made me think of Cannibal Corpse, but between the gore and the music they actually remind me a lot more of Carcass’s third album (Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious, that in-between period they had before they went melodeath, but after they stopped playing pure grindcore). The music is upbeat and groovy, rather than the downtuned blastfest one might expect from their name and song titles (although I’ll discuss their speed in a minute).
Speaking of guitar tuning, I don’t know which one they’re using, but it seems higher than you usually find in death metal, and that combined with their riffing style helps give the music an oddly peppy feel. This is a good thing. I could be wrong about the tuning, I don’t have the best ear for such things. But it sounds good nonetheless.
Also, listening to Fetus Grinder marks the first time I have ever thought, “Damn, microwaving a cat is catchy.” So there’s that. (“Microwaving a Cat” is my favorite song off their new album, and has been officially classified by the Double Secret Congressional Committee of Metal as “catchy as all fuck”)
Fetus Grinder have just released their second album, Rather Unpleasant, which you can download for free at bandcamp (http://fetusgrinder.bandcamp.com/). Their first album, Terror in the Women’s Clinic, is also available on bandcamp for a pay-what-you-want deal (1 CAD minimum). What struck me about Fetus Grinder, and inspired me to write this post, was the incredible amount of musical growth in the two-year period between those two albums.
I liked their first album. However, it wasn’t one that featured heavily in my rotation. The production was poor (although this is understandable; not every band has the money to pay for top-of-the line equipment and lots of studio time, especially an unsigned band recording their debut, as Fetus Grinder was) and this took a lot of the punch out of what otherwise would have been an excellent record. For Rather Unpleasant, Fetus Grinder have solved this problem and gotten better production. And what’s more, they have upped the ante on musicianship and songwriting in a very big way.
The most noticeable difference is the riffing. It’s faster, more technical, and better arranged. They’ll play a riff in the vein of their first album, and then explode into a burst of heaviness and speed that goes far beyond anything they did on their previous release. They’ve also branched out in the way they write the riffs; another problem with their first album (and indeed many metal albums) was that they all started to sound the same after a while. However, on the second album they’ve broken out of their formula a bit, and the riffs are far more varied. The whole record just sounds much more mature in general, and it’s remarkable that they came that far in just two years.
Listen, if only to a couple tracks from each one, and compare. Fetus Grinder have a lot of potential, and are a band to watch out for. If they can make this much improvement in such a short time, I can’t wait to see what they do next. Keep track of them on Facebook here. Also, keep it metal. The Double Secret Congressional Committee of Metal commands it.
From the first album: “Morning After Kill”
From the second album: “Resorting to Cannibalism”:
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume this is NSFW listening material. My phone isn’t very useful for streaming, so I’ll grab the download and check it out later. But I did want to say, that first album’s cover art is pretty cool. I think aesthetically I like the first one better. But that has nothing to do with what they sound like; I’ll take your word on that- for now.
What’s up with the guy on the cover? What kind of face is he making? I’m totally desensitized to the gore, but that face really creeps me out.
It’s kind of halfway between a smile and a look of surprise or delight. Or maybe he’s about to take a bite. Yeah, creepy.
So THAT face creeps you out – but you’re fine with the expression on the BABY’S face?
The face he’s making combined with that sickly green color of his skin do make him really creepy, but I think it works. It’s a good kind of creepy. Or maybe I’m just deranged. And Valley of Steel, I also like the cover to the first album better, but I think the second one has a kind of a crude charm to it. I like them both in different ways.
“DEAD BABIES. On a related note, let’s talk about a band called Fetus Grinder.” Rofl.
We love you Islander.
Much as I would like to take credit for that opening, credit must go to the author, Mr. Black Shuck.
Yeah, that was me. Glad you found it funny, though! 😀
Oh, sorry, missed that. Great guest post Shuck!
Thank you. 🙂
This reminds me of a former KC death metal band called Disinternment because they had a song called Fetus Fajitas.
That rolls off the tongue quite well. I’m probably going to be muttering that to myself all day. And then I’ll get those weird looks again, and those cards recommending psychiatrists from random passers-by. But whatevs.
resorting to cannibalism is fucking sweet, thank you very much sir.
You’re welcome. Glad you liked it. 🙂
The first album is now free for download (it might as well be). Thanks for the review Black Shuck!
You’re very welcome. Happy to do it. 🙂