GUINEAPIG – Parasite Review

Suspiciously, only one other goregrind review exists on AMG1, and it’s kind of shitty. If you follow the genre, you know that acts like UwU may squirt out 3 or more opuses in a year. As an organization, we are very much behind on showcasing this putrid genre of goregrind, so to rectify this oversight, I thrust myself upon GUINEAPIG’s latest bucket o’ blasts, Parasite. Unlike other hyper-productive peers, these caviid-loving Italians don’t subscribe to the keep ‘em coming attitude, instead allowing Parasite to come to life over the course of 8 years since their debut Bacteria. As such, they claim to have undertaken the lofty goal of hoisting their chosen form to novel heights, the likes of which this unfulfilling existence has never before seen. Will the open floodgates of this unknown class of biohazardous thrashing leave us infected with a new kind of groove?

No. However, GUINEAPIG does create a goregrind that takes tonal nods from djentle djiants like Meshuggah, rather than simply repeating the sample-riff-repeat Mortician-filled wasteland of D-grade horrorcore. The chug takes center stage for the majority of Parasite, which brings us to an important understanding: the riff is the moist-maker in a metal sandwich2. A successful song balances the inclusion of ideas beyond the structure that’s provided by 6or in this case 8strings. Meshuggah themselves know this well on their most successful outings, layering inimitable rhythms, pulsating growls, and shelf-rattling bass as the bread and stuffing in their classic platters. Fredrik Thordendal (Meshuggah), the manic master he is, slathers this sturdy base with dewy leads and emulsifying pick-work. Parasite, in contrast, is a soggy mess.

Much in the same way that odd meter, open string grooves fail to be innovation in the progressive metal that many modern bands offer, the style does not create a new breed of goregrind or a good song. A couple extra strings and a mechanical tone do not suddenly change, at its core, the riff worship that GUINEAPIG practices. Naturally, a number of intro shuffles hit with plenty of impact (“Supreme Body Bizarre,” “Deformed Doppelganger”), but the intensity of these moments is lost when the song fails to move beyond that refrain, or simply sprays another one on top of it. And even still, GUINEAPIG can’t help but bring forth nuggets that resemble the stench of a traditional death metal fare (“Urethra Candiru Terror”, “Liquefied”), but even these are served with a continuing mundanity.

With mixed effect, Parasite tries to hold waning attention through heavy use of vocal effects. You’ll hear quickly after the opening spooky synths of “Ocular Tormentor” that GUINEAPIG’s secret spice is a troubling vocal modulation that resembles a toilet bowl flush. It’s hard not to smile at the first couple of flushes, but much like a situation where your own flushes seem in vain, the constant swirling grows increasingly frustrating. On songs like “City of the Monkey God” or “Pandemic” I strongly question what purpose the sound serves at all, as it’s adding neither a meaningful melody or rhythmall they do is take up sound space. The natural voice elements are truly solid, especially against choppy grooves (“Zatypota”), which makes the interruption of the atonal gurgling quite the plunge in quality.

Curiously, there’s a remix of the intro track that closes the album by Italian synthwave outfit Confrontational. This track alone highlights what’s wrong with the rest of Parasite by placing the marinara-drenched meatballs of “Ocular Tormentor” on a fresh, herb-dusted focaccia. The rock-steady, trance thump presents everything the band could have asked for in terms of a challenging sound, but they simply couldn’t do it themselves. GUINEAPIG does not succeed on their own terms; they’ve tried to refresh long-expired goregrind sounds with equally stale groove ideas. A mouthful of this Parasite will leave you dripping from all the wrong holes.


Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Spikerot Records
Releases Worldwide: June 10th, 2022

Show 2 footnotes

  1. I am choosing to ignore that Astral Tomb holds the goregrind tag here for reasons.
  2. I thank Carcharodon endlessly for this.
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