Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Album Review: Gruesome Stuff Relish: "Sempiternal Death Grind"

I review a lot of grindcore here on Needs More Noise Gate, but I rarely get to review any goregrind bands. Most grind bands I get to listen to are based more in the Napalm Death and Repulsion school of grindcore, rather than that of Carcass. The groovy, heavy, d-beat riffs. The pitch shifted dual vocals. The gore and horror lyrics that are so extreme they're cheesier than the World Cheese Convention down in the Canary Islands. What's not to love from Carcass-clone bands? After the almighty Carcass started putting their grinding days behind them, the world dropped to it's knees, begging for a new band to take up the bloodsoaked and innards covered mantle. Luckily, over the years we got a fair few that not only continued Carcass' beloved goregrind sound and style, but actually did it damn well and gained a bit of recognition for it. While the more popular of the bunch like General Surgery and Hemorrhage come to mind first, today we'll be looking at the new rising stars of gore, Gruesome Stuff Relish.

Gruesome Stuff Relish are a four-piece that hail from Spain, who have just released their third album, Sempiternal Death Grind just last month. They dropped Horror Rises from the Tomb back in 2004, and Teenage Giallo Grind more than 10 years ago in 2002, as well as a whole whack of splits since.

The first thing I notice, right off the bat, on Death Grind are Noel Kemper's vocals. They're putrid. They're disgusting. They're slimy-assed, grease drenched, boil-and-wart covered vocals, and I fucking love 'em. And no goregrind vocal delivery is complete without the addition of gnarly growls pitch shifted down a couple octaves. The guitars and bass make for something really interesting here too, taking from British and U.S. hardcore riffs, but played through a gnarly '90s Swedish death metal tone, a la Dismember or Entombed. Some of the patterns get a little death metally on us, and it sounds good, but Gruesome Stuff Relish are on the top of their game when they're pounding out simple, groovy riffs. There are a couple lead lines here and there on the album, but honestly, I don't find they add too, too much to the overall effectiveness of the album.

I find that the drums really keep everything sprinting forwards on this album. Whether he's pounding out breakneck blast beats, mosh-inducing d-beats, or plain grooves, drummer Paolo Deodato holds together this  filthy, bloody mess of an album. Something a little different that Guesome Stuff Relish pull off is more of a horror theme than a gore theme. Now, the horror they incorporate is gory as hell, but songs like "S.O.S." and the intro to "They Follow Your Scent" really drive home a creepy and disturbing atmosphere. Traditional to classic goregrind, Gruesome Stuff Relish toss in a whole bunch of audio samples throughout their album. I don't recognize any of the bits used, but they all seem to be from horror movies or TV shows. They're all really well chosen and really drive home the gore and horror theme.

Now, all this gore and horror and Carcass-worship is fine and dandy, but what really sets Gruesome Stuff Relish apart from the herd is how damn catchy everything is. Sempiternal Death Grind has you wailing, headbanging, and air guitaring along to it the entire time, and each song is filled with distinct hooks that latch onto your brain and just won't let go. As gruesome as the subject matter is, these are songs you blast while you're with your buddies drinking some beers. You can tell the guys in Gruesome Stuff Relish had tons of fun with this album and put a lot of energy into their music, and you definitely get that fun and energy out every time you spin it.

Bomb-Ass Tracks: Desecrated, S.O.S., They Follow Your Scent, In Death We Breath

On a Playlist With: General Surgery, Hemorrhage, The County Medical Examiners

Overall Score


Carcass meets Dismember meets a Lucio Fulci movie. Gruesome Stuff Relish are slicing, dicing, snipping, and carving their way to the top of the goregrind scene, one bloody victim at a time. If you're into catchy, groovy grind with some truly horrendeous vocals (and I mean that in the best way possible), Sempiternal Death Grind is for you.

Sempiternal Death Grind came out January 25th, 2013 on FDA Rekotz. You can also check out the band's Facebook page here.

Look out for the song "Desecrated" off of Sempiternal Death Grind coming up on the Needs More Noise Gate compilation album, Grindhouse Vol. 1! This will be a free compilation of the best grindcore, hardcore, and powerviolence that I've come across with Needs More Noise Gate, and it'll be available on Bandcamp sometime in 2013! More details as I slowly figure out what the hell I doing.

That's all for now, folks!

-Grave Dave

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