(In this post DGR reviews three pissed-off short releases.)
It’s pretty well known that a huge chunk of the heavy metal spectrum serves as catharsis, a way for us to scream out our daily rage or miseries — the expulsion of energy otherwise pent up that some folks might let lash out or otherwise ruin their day.
In my case, I’ve always had a few go-to songs after a particularly rough work day (because really, I’m not getting pissed off at home), but lately it seems like that list has gotten bigger and bigger, especially as I keep digging deeper into different underground scenes in an effort to find stuff to share with you fine folk.
Right now, that sweet spot for the white-hot, rage-induced thrashabout that usually happens as the result of some sort of bullshit has been where the grind scene tends to slam headfirst into the hardcore punk scene, where musicians seem less interested in what they are actually playing and more in creating a swirling vortex of sonic destruction.
In the case of this post, two of the three releases serve that particular purpose. And the third? Well, the third is just a meaty slab of death metal that I felt like sharing because it would allow us to do a little bit o’ world traveling.
Dakhma are a two-piece destructive force of a grind band hailing from lovely San Francisco, CA. I found them buried in a Bay Area metal Facebook group, but recently the band have started to make a little bit of noise on the web – so I figured this would be an excellent opportunity to serve them up to you guys.
The group, consisting of musicians David Gonzalez and Adam Gambel, play that punk and grind violence that I was hinting at earlier. Their first release, Ungeziefer, takes its name from the German word for Vermin, and potentially is a nod to The Metamorphosis by Kafka, the opening of which is summarized by Wikipedia as follows:
“One day, Gregor Samsa, a traveling salesman, wakes up to find himself transformed into an ungeheures Ungeziefer, literally ‘monstrous vermin’, often interpreted as a giant bug or insect”.
If only the actual book had been written so frankly.
Ungeziefer is five tracks and about nine minutes long; so you should have a pretty good idea of what you’re in for. Both musicians rotate vocal attacks whilst hammering on their instruments in a way that the music just hangs on by a thread, but most of the time is teetering on the edge of destruction as each successive blast of noise lifts one finger off its grip.
“Waste”, the twenty-one-second madhouse of a track, hits especially hard, and of course has become my personal favorite as I tend to enjoy a little bit of no-holds-barred anger explosion, the type that goes off like a gamma ray burst — all you’ll see is the flash as your only warning and then you’re annihilated.
Organ Dealer is another such grind band — except this time we’re a little shorter, a little gorier, and about as across the country as you can get from the previous band (NJ). This one was recommended to me by our lovely editor Islander, with a simple tagline of, “This might be right in your wheelhouse”, and he couldn’t have been any more right.
Organ Dealer are a concise band, with their release aptly titled Demo 2014 having hit at the end of July and being approximately two minutes and twenty-one seconds long. If anything, you can’t say you were strapped for time as an excuse for not checking these guys out. They’re a fuller band than the preceding group, as Bandcamp identifies them as a five-piece. And from the sound of things, Organ Dealer are five people who have some issues that they have to work through.
Opener “Consumed” is a screeching mess of a song, something like the sonic form of watching gunpowder ignite. It’s this massive acceleration into utter annihilation, which when it explodes leaves nothing behind but a charred crater. Closer “Pear Of Anguish”, alongside its torturous and evocative name, does the same thing, but this time stretches it out to a minute forty-two — clearly where Demo 2014 gets most of its dessicated body.
Organ Dealer are a flash point of sound, the sort of thing for which we need high-speed cameras to catch the full action — otherwise, all we really see is the beginning and the end result, usually with the backs of our heads splattered against the wall or at the very least wondering what the fuck happened to our eyebrows.
Going to be honest with you: I have no idea how I came across New Zealand’s Ruinant. All I know is that I’m happy I did and figure you guys will be, too, especially after the two grind bursts with which I opened this article.
Ruinant are a brutal death metal band hailing from Wellington, New Zealand, complete with slam snare and vocals occasionally so guttural that you’ll be wondering if they were replaced with a sound sample of a truck. Their latest release is also their first and is, like Organ Dealer’s above, aptly entitled EP 2014.
This is a very young band — according to Metal-Archives they formed in 2013 — which means we’re at the very beginning of a potential zeitgeist. Obviously, EP 2014 requires a little bit more of a time commitment in comparison to the previous two in this article, coming in at a little over twenty minutes, but the four songs at “name your own price” are extremely worth it, especially if you’re the type who just absolutely devours every bit of death metal that comes your way.
Ruinant fancy themselves a technical death metal band as well, as a bunch of groups do these days, so you also get the finger parkour across the fretboard that bands like this make look so goddamned easy, plus the Dimmu Borgir-esque word salad song titles that have come to define the more philosophical of these death metal bands.
“Lucid Cerebral Ablation” is a definite highlight and a battering hammer of a song worth looking into — so if you’re strapped for time, start on that one. But definitely give Ruinant a look, because for a group who are just getting off the ground in terms of band lifespans, these guys clearly have their shit together.