posted on 3/2010 By:
It’s too bad that Mayhem took “Chainsaw Gutsfuck” before this New York grindcore trio could get to it because it would have made for a very fitting album title for this stellar collection of songs. And however tongue in cheek it is intended to be, their self-described “fucking mess” of a sound packs one hell of a wallop on Sixth Extinction, Defeatist’s first true full-length.
The usual suspects throw the first few punches; Terrorizer, Napalm Death and some Brutal Truth for good measure. But what makes this affair truly interesting is the glob of sludge that doesn’t merely creep in but announces its presence with a quick K.O. We’re talking full-on EyeHateGod-like, screaming toward the heavens at the top of your lungs hoping to crack the sky stomping. There’s rumbling, too. God is there some rumbling. Rumbling so heavy it could level John Calipari’s ego. Flatten pre-lap-band Sharon Osbourne. Topple Robb Flynn right over and steal the emo skull sleeveless T right off his back. Yes, this thing here is pretty darn filthy.
Vocalist Aaron Nichols’ similarities to Michael Williams are obvious. That is not to say that Nichols doesn’t have a voice of his own, but the comparison is inescapable. I don’t suspect anyone will ever know what it is exactly that he seems to be in some serious pain about without the aid of a lyrics sheet. Not that it matters. Here the vocals act as an additional layer, further cementing the feelings of frustration, anguish, desperation and doom this album evokes. Sometimes those feelings are wrought out like the drip of a clogged IV, as on “Death Holds Her Brood,” but more often than not they spurt out like a sped-up Peter North comp. Both methods work well in their own way.
Twenty-five to thirty minutes is about as long as a band should push a grind release, even one as musically diverse as this one can be, so twenty-seven, while still lengthy, is acceptable. Between-song transitions are so smooth one would never notice there are nineteen of them anyway. The death metal and punk influences hang heavy on the riffs throughout, and the drumming can be downright brutal. The live feel to the production gives the latter even more weight.
All in all, this is a cool surprise, and my first of the year. Sixth Extinction is primal, but not without some groove, which leaves people like me, people who are usually hesitant about grind releases, with big ole grins on our faces. And grinning is good, even if it’s done after listening to another’s misery.
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