Let’s cut to the chase: For a debut album, it’s astonishing just how good Better Dead Than Friends is. It would also be astonishing even if it were an album released by any top-shelf grindcore band far deeper into their career than the place where The Bastard Within find themselves, close to the beginning of their own. This isn’t completely shocking, given that the members of this group have made names for themselves in other bands already, but still… what they’ve accomplished on this first full-length is a big eye-opener.
Those members, spread around Italy and Switzerland, are vocalist CN Sid, guitarist Gianluca Sulpizio, and bassist Davide Stura, as well as American drummer extraordinaire Kevin Talley. And while all credit goes to them for Better Dead Than Friends, they’ve also augmented their formidable attack with an array of noteworthy guests on various tracks — Jason Netherton (Misery Index, Asphalt Graves), Trevor (Sadist), Juri Bianchi (Addiction, Any Face, Hayma), Mãra Lisenko (Mãra), and Stefania Minervino (Too Late, Cave, Spoiled).