Most ardent fans of extreme metal have at least a passing impression of the sub-genre known as “goregrind”, and others have been eating it up ever since Carcass released Reek of Putrefaction, reveling in the disgustingly distorted gutturals, the frenzied tempos and thuggish breakdowns, the down-tuned riffage, the blasting percussion, and the lyrical devotion to splattered viscera and forensic pathology. But however much you think you know about goregrind, the Roman trio Guineapig are about to open your eyes wide all over again.
They made their first mark with the 2014 debut album Bacteria, and yes, it displayed a fascination with splatter movies, medical experiments, and rare diseases, while inflicting traumatic levels of musical punishment. But that was 8 years ago, and the band’s new album Parasite, which will be released next month by Spikerot Records, is definitely a step up.
So far, the band have released two songs from the album, each of them paired with a video. First came “Mermaid In A Manhole” in March. The NSFW video that presented it is one to remember — freakish and frightening, sexual and sinister — and the song itself was a frightening, and bludgeoning, experience. Its hammer blows were merciless, its distorted gurgling like bait for crocodiles, its riffing like the pulse of crazed monsters and the slithering of burning serpents, a blending of vicious ecstasy and cruel dread.
April brought us another track, and another video. This one, “Taxidermia“, took its name from a bizarre 2006 Hungarian horror film, which concludes with a story of a taxidermist who uses his own body as the final subject of his craft. This song also slugs you with its grooves, and there’s a hideous beast that seems to be feverishly snarling and feeding on something too. Eventually the song goes into violent seizures in the midst of the clobbering but inventively patterned drumwork, the jolting and writhing guitars, and the roaring vocal hostlity.
And now we come to the band’s new song for May, “City of the Monkey God“, which also comes with a video. We’ll turn first to Guineapig guitarist/vocalist Fra for an introduction:
“CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD” takes its name from a 16th-century legend about a curse spreading disease in a lost city in Honduras. The mystery was solved only 500 years later, when a group of explorers got their faces disfigured due to a flesh-eating parasite.
In opposite to the lyric, which explains what happened to the poor explorers, the video focuses more on the old legend, envisioning the whole story from God’s point of view. We, guineapig, have always wanted to be off the grid, breaking down schemes and clichés, both musically and aesthetically: CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD is a symbolic video about an ancient divinity, more precisely a Goddess in our interpretation, who’s conscious of her power but at the same time affected by it. What she created, her land, is what is soiling her state of purity.”
The video brings together again the star of “Mermaid In A Manhole” (the exotic Stelladiplastica) and the same group of filmmakers who created that previous video. Though the protagonist doesn’t shed her clothes this time, her appearance and physical contortions are just as arresting, and so is the dramatic setting of the video. Together, they bring the story to life in vivid ways. Plus, you get to see the band in action. (The filmmakers get an extra gold star for the close-up of the bass strings vibrating.)
As for the music, it’s as viscerally powerful as ever, a bone-smasher and a gut-churner. But the band also manage to create an aura of supernatural horror and spreading pestilence to go along with all the savage mauling, mangling, and brute-force stomping.
Fra – Guitar/ vocals
Alessio – Bass/vocals
Giancarlo – Drums
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Marco Mastrobuono at Kick Recording Studio in Rome (Fleshgod Apocalypse, Hour Of Penance, Shores Of Null), and it features artwork by Fabio Timpanaro.
It’s set for release by Spikerot on June 10th (LP/CD/Digital/Merch/Bundles), and pre-orders can be placed now..