(In this post our guest Kunal Choksi, editor of the Transcending Obscurity webzine, recommends releases by four bands from The Czech Republic.)
The Czech Republic is considered to be one of the most important countries for grindcore. However, it must be noted that the country’s music, especially in this style, came to the fore only in the last decade. Bands like Lykathea Aflame, Alienation Mental, Cerebral Turbulency, Malignant Tumour, and Ingrowing were very important and led the way. Most of them broke up and many of them veered toward the style where they imbibed “gore” influences. But whether grindcore or goregrind, it’s still grind and even to this date, the country is kicking ass like no other in doling out excellent top-notch grind. While some lost their way, like !T.O.O.H! and Alienation Mental, bands like Fleshless turned completely death metal and left a mark, and others changed names and started new bands like Opitz, Rubufaso Mukufo, Eardelete, Duobetic Homunkulus, and more.
Currently the scene is still vibrant, with most bands employing the groovy/slammy style that’s become popular of late, but these are the bands who are leading the way and remaining outstanding.
EARDELETE (sci-fi robo-grind/gore/death metal)
Eardelete rose from the ashes of Negligent Collateral Collapse (N.C.C.), who were a sensational band back in the day. N.C.C. were virtually incomparable, with the music sounding like an amalgam of grindcore, goregrind, and of course death metal. It had this futuristic vibe to it, seemingly influenced by early Squash Bowels and Dead Infection, which has been carried on quite well by Eardelete, having retained most of the members.
Signed to Obscene Productions initially, which seems to be sadly defunct of late, much like most other labels in that region such as Shiny Productions, Lecter Music Agency, and Khaaranus Productions, the band is now signed to Bizarre Leprous Productions which released the latest and quite frankly the band’s most accomplished album, Devilogy. The tunes are mutated with slime, alien slime if you will, and possess almost equal parts death metal and grindcore. The cohesiveness and catchiness is astonishing with the mechanical slickness in which the band specializes. One dude from the band even goes around calling himself Robocop. Go figure.
Here’s an excellent band with forward-thinking music, alas lost on the commercial critics and fans.
JIG-AI (Japanese-themed goregrind/death metal with swollen balls)
Jig-Ai are at the forefront of the Czech grind scene and are arguably the most popular one, too. It’s with good reason, because much like their contemporaries or rather forefathers such as Ahumado Granujo, Mincing Fury, Guttural Clamour of Queer Decay, and Carnal Diafragma, the band play a slickened form of goregrind with death metal influences, more now than before. The band’s outstanding quality, in one aspect, is the Japanese-influenced theme, which is refreshing considering that the bands were getting too similar and repetitive around those parts.
It helps to understand that a couple of the members also play in the aforementioned band Eardelete and it shows in the music. Jig-Ai, for the uninitiated, play balls-out gory death metal a la goregrind that’s contemporary, almost unrelenting, and varied, not to mention intense. More people have got to get into this style of evolved music. It’s the future.
INGROWING (unrelenting precision death metal/grindcore)
Unlike say Contrastic, which metamorphosed into Opitz, or Cerebral Turbulency, which reformed as Rubufaso Mukufo, Ingrowing have stuck to their guns over the years and have really slogged it out. Due to their relatively straightforward but hard-hitting grindcore, Ingrowing have remained largely underappreciated by the flamboyant lot, but I would say the band have also remained consistent and become even better, especially on the amazing last EP entitled Heads or Tails, which rivals most of the US grindcore releases in recent times. The band have a very impervious, solid sound that’s comparable to ‘90s Napalm Death, a bit of Extreme Noise Terror, and also Inhumate, albeit a lot faster.
The band’s passion is overwhelming, and anyone remotely into grindcore should be all over this. This is one of the band’s strongest releases, but once again, remains largely overlooked by almost everyone.
DESTRUCTIVE EXPLOSION OF ANAL GARLAND (tongue-in-cheek powerful goregrind/death metal)
This one is the height. The band uses humour to excellent effect (evidently) and is even thicker and groovier than Jig-Ai. It’s probably the best band right now in this style, which again leans more toward goregrind. The scene faced a bad reputation with many established bands going the “core” way, such as Pigsty most notably, Cerebral Turbulency (circa Crash Test), and unfortunately Alienation Mental, too. Destructive Explosion of Anal Garland restore the original confidence with panache. This may sound like a joke band, but they’re even better than those who got very popular (and lost it), like Gronibard from France, and are stylistically superior to the splatter-gore ones from the US particularly.
The latest album is called Tour de Anal and everyone must enlist for this tour. Destructive Explosion of Anal Garland are colourful in almost every way and have more balls than you can imagine, the size of those dangling wrecking balls at that.
Ingrowing and Jig-Ai were good.
Great list. Tour de Anal is 2014’s best album so far.