Bloodbox – Post Human Disorder Review

In 2022 thus far, minds have been grinded by a slew of top-shelf grindcore platters, highlighted by Wormrot‘s phenomenal Hiss album, and other such standout releases, including quality offerings from Antigama, Ernia, Narakah, Human Cull, Knoll and Coffin Nail. Formed way back in 2001, however, up until now an unfamiliar act to me, New Zealand’s Bloodbox tackle grind from a different, albeit still abrasive, chaotic, and genre-contorting angle on an efficient 16-minute blast. I passed up a solid release from Defect Designer due to it falling into the EP category, short-form releases of note generally get bundled into end-of-year write-ups. However, at a similar length but marketed as a full-length, Bloodbox get the grind pass of trademark action-packed brevity. However, their self-professed ‘breakbeat grindcore’ is an odd duck, jamming grind, death, industrial and electro influences into a harsh, exotic combination likely to divide and bamboozle listeners in equal measure.

Bloodbox don’t give two fucks about convention, throwing the ole rule book out the window in favor of chopped-up experimentation and a mangled deconstruction of their grind-infused industrial core. These mysterious masked avengers tip their hats to their rabid punky roots of old school grind, while bringing to mind the industrial grind assault of Aussie alchemists, The Berzerker. On a sheer intensity level, Bloodbox hit the mark, as screeching guitars, maniacal vocal variations, and hammering percussion collide chaotically with samples, noisy industrial mayhem, and deconstructed, heavily distorted extreme metal.

Opener “Project 19” exhibits the band’s unique stylings into an abrasive nugget of sample-laden grind, buzzing under a blanket of industrial noise and thick layers of distortion. It sets the formula in motion, though Bloodbox are more than willing to stray down splintered pathways of experimentation. The band’s restless ambition finds an impressive range of scattered ideas and nasty guitar tones, often crammed together into brief, explosive compositions. “One with Dirt” has some cool moments, however, the jarringly gentle, mid-song electronic interlude is distracting and ill-fitting, coming across as a gimmicky detour. “Possessions” is a heavy, grinding, noisy jam with solid moments unfortunately bogged down by sound bites and samples that devour too much of its brief run-time.

When Bloodbox dial into their grindier roots, integrating their electronic and industrial elements more effectively on songs like the punishing, pulsating stabs of “Withered,” or the unhinged frenzy of “Eat Rape Populate,” Bloodbox are all the more engaging, but focus is fleeting. Relentless intensity, unhinged rage and nightmarish soundscapes signal Bloodbox‘s frantic, ambitious intent, however, does it all come together as a slab of concentrated extremity worth devouring? The abstract experimentation and choppy nature of the music keep you on your toes and ready to expect the unexpected. However, it comes at the expense of cohesion and memorable writing, leaving behind a haphazard mix of interesting moments, scattershot experimentation, and unformed ideas, rather than a cohesive, gripping platter to truly grab you by the throat.

Overall, Bloodbox create intriguing extreme music for adventurous listeners with an affiliation for grind, industrial, noise, and abstract experimentation. You could never accuse Bloodbox of being dull or formulaic, yet there is not a great deal to firmly grasp and maintain interest beyond the obvious stylistic curiosities and manic energy found within. Post Human Disorder‘s brevity is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the choppy, manic intensity is best served in digestible bites, however, the writing also feels underdeveloped, and even catering for the obvious experimental inclinations, lacks fluidity. On paper, Bloodbox have the elements to be a pig-destroying bastard child of Brutal Truth, The Berzerker, Godflesh and early Anaal Nathrakh. The end result is mildly intriguing yet far less appealing than that combination implies. Worth checking for the curious, and enough here to keep me interested in what the band can potentially develop down the track with a bit more focus and refinement.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Headwound Recordingz
Websites: bloodbox2021.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/bloodbox
Releases Worldwide: August 26th, 2022

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