Saunders

Unleashing Hell from Down Under: Blood, sweat, venom & beers
Back to the Grindstone: Insect Warfare – World Extermination

Back to the Grindstone: Insect Warfare – World Extermination

“Back to the Grindstone is a love letter feature dedicated to the appreciation of all things grindcore. This most extreme of extreme niche genres has been kicking since the late ’80s, growing in underground stature as the years march on. The rule of thumb to this feature is simple; spotlight will be on grind albums old and new, though will not include releases from the past five years, or albums previously covered on this website. Genre classics, underappreciated gems, old school and nu school will be covered, highlighting albums aimed at established fans and curious listeners interested in diving into the cesspool of the grind scene.” Bugs ARE the feature!

The Last of Lucy – Godform Review

The Last of Lucy – Godform Review

“Transcending Obscurity’s rise amongst the underground metal label ranks has been rapid, swelling in recent years as they house an increasingly powerful staple of killer bands, with the quality factor generally of a high standard across a packed roster of talented and unique artists. Taking around a decade from band conception to debut LP release, California’s The Last of Lucy have built underground momentum and refined their sound, arriving at their third LP, and second for Transcending Obscurity, entitled Godform. Aside from taste testing some of their previous work, in particular 2022’s Moksha, I largely divulge in this latest endeavor with fresh ears. Residing in the crowded, head-spinning realms of modern technical and brutal death, how does The Last of Lucy fare?” Lucy in the sky with noodles.

The Absence – The Absence Review

The Absence – The Absence Review

“Florida’s The Absence have carved out a tidy career of dependable material across two separate career arcs since forming way back in 2002. Their first few albums were thrashy, slightly blackened melodeath bangers with killer riffs, striking melodies and catchy hooks in tow. Hardly groundbreaking stuff but solidly entertaining, nonetheless. Following an eight-year recording hiatus, The Absence kicked back into gear in 2018 and now we arrive at the third album of their recharged second era, and sixth overall, following on from 2021’s reliably solid Coffinized release. On this occasion, the veteran act decided to go the self-titled route, which often translates to a stylistic reinvention, or assertive back-to-basics approach.” Absence makes the heart do something.

Benighted – Ekbom Review

Benighted – Ekbom Review

“Springing to life some twenty-five years ago, France’s Benighted have carved a legacy of quality output. From rougher beginnings, the deathgrind powerhouse developed and honed their potently addictive formula to a fine point, throwing down technically proficient, slammy deathgrind fireballs with plenty of gusto, a deliciously unhinged bent, and a pig squealing, asylum rioting sense of fun.” BREEE careful!

Idiot Robot – Anti Pop Culture Review

Idiot Robot – Anti Pop Culture Review

“Perusing the promo sump, I stumbled across Idiot Robot, intrigued by the grunge tag they were saddled with. Being an avid fan of the ’80’s/’90’s grunge scene, Seattle rock movement and ’90’s alt-rock in general, I’m a sucker for this shit. Hell, even 2023’s Somnuri album, which kicked endless arse, sealed my love with its earwormy grunge hooks and melodies. Under closer investigation, I realized our resident spongey friend Kenstrosity reviewed the Floridian duo’s self-titled debut album in 2020, where despite endearing elements of nostalgia, the end result was something akin to a dumpster fire. Nearly four years have passed, and everyone has room for improvement, right?” Robot problems.

Decryptor – Imminent Ruin Review

Decryptor – Imminent Ruin Review

“Part of the enduring thrill of this here reviewing game, is dipping into the toxic gunk of the promo sump to pull out a freshly untapped talent or obscure underground gem that knocks your socks off and gives reason to share the love with anyone who will listen. Of course, shit can go pear-shaped pretty quickly in a densely populated modern metal scene, where carving an impression and standing out from the overcrowded pack offers a stern challenge. Hailing from British Colombia, Decryptor formed as recently as 2020, plying their trade through underground dedication and refining their skills via a few demo releases. Imminent Ruin signals the band’s first foray into full-length territory. With minimal profile or web presence, let us see if these young upstarts have the songwriting goods and talents to stoke deeper interest.” Ambition and ruin.

Job for a Cowboy – Moon Healer Review

Job for a Cowboy – Moon Healer Review

“Arizona’s Job for a Cowboy garnered significant buzz and division within the metal realms when they dropped their 2005 debut EP, Doom. The brawny slab of deathcore impressed those inclined, before gradually transitioning into a modern death metal act with tech leanings, largely dispensing with the core influences. Fairly nonplussed by the band’s earlier material, Job for a Cowboy’s pivoting career trajectory blindsided me on fourth LP, Sun Eater, released nearly a decade ago. Signature technical proficiency, testosterone-charged aggression, and bludgeoning, slickly produced modern death remained, however, the unexpected integration of progressive structures and complex compositions, offering a hefty thump of aggression and brutality, largely impressed.” Cow tipping, gun slinging.

Tanin’iver – Dark Evils Desecrate Review

Tanin’iver – Dark Evils Desecrate Review

“Immersing myself in the twisted, feral cauldron of Dark Evils Desecrate and its relentless assault, Tanin’iver appear hellbent on writing the most ugly, evil, and uncompromising anthems as possible to soundtrack a fiery apocalypse. Bells, whistles, and gimmicks are jettisoned for an old school underground sound converging in the dankest underground corners where raw black metal brawls with death and thrash influences.” Dark for darkness sake.

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of Planet Earth and the Beginning of Merciless Damnation [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

“It wouldn’t be Things You Might Have Missed season without some controversy. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, prolific, chameleon-like alchemists King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard have garnered a powerful cult following since forming in 2010. Incredibly during that time, they released a scarcely believable 25 LPs. My own experience with the band is limited in comparison to their exhausting, hyperactive output. Sure, I’ve heard songs here and there and enjoyed the odd isolated jam, however, perhaps due to the overwhelming body of work, and skepticism over the quantity vs quality ratio, I have never given a full LP of theirs a good shake. That changed with their 24th LP.” Lizard Kings can do…anything.