Release Details

LABEL Willowtip
RELEASED ON 1/7/2014
GENRES Death,Grind
  • ...a throwback to the genre’s early days with an emphasis on sheer heaviness, rather than upon technicality and all-out speed.

Nausea (CA)

Condemned To The System

posted on 1/2014   By: Dave Schalek

Any serious discussion about the origins of grindcore is going to have to include an examination of the history of Los Angeles’s Nausea. Coming out of the same scene and circle of musicians that eventually led to the better-known Terrorizer, Nausea began in 1987 with Oscar Garcia on guitars and vocals, and Erik Castro on drums. Garcia would go on to join Terrorizer and appear on World Downfall, that outfit’s seminal debut full-length from 1989. Though it would change the course of extreme music’s history, World Downfall is made up of about one-third Nausea songs. This led many to believe that Nausea was either no longer a band, or had been some sort of a side project of Terrorizer.

Neither was the case, as Nausea would release its own first official album with 1991's Crimes Against Humanity. In fits and starts, Nausea would go on to release a scattering of splits, compilations, and demos over the next twenty years or so (a ten-year long hiatus occurred within that period). Los Angeles scene fixture Leon del Müerte joined the band as a second guitarist in 2012, boosting Nausea's visibility immensely. Del Müerte’s inclusion has now borne fruit with the release of Condemned To The System, Nausea’s second official full-length album. Containing new songs as well as material that has appeared on various demos over the last ten years, Condemned To The System is a densely packed blast of heavy grindcore that clocks in at nearly thirty minutes in length.

Condemned To The System is a throwback to the genre’s early days with an emphasis on sheer heaviness, rather than upon technicality and all out speed. The album’s abrasive production and the riffs delivered from Garcia and del Müerte are incredibly dense, with a style that immediately brings to mind albums such as Napalm Death's Utopia Banished and Brutal Truth's Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses. Castro’s style of drumming doesn’t emphasize blastbeats, but instead a fast gallop, giving the songs a retro feel. Combine the requisite sociopolitical commentary with cover art straight out of the the late 1980s, and you have a throwback grindcore album that feels like it should have been made twenty-plus years ago.

That’s not meant as a slight; instead, the retro approach is very welcome in an age where grindcore seems to have forgotten its roots of late with bands releasing albums that emphasize technical prowess rather than just blowing your head off. That’s exactly what Nausea does quite well on Condemned To The System.