Grief

Grief

…And Man Will Become the Hunted

Pessimiser

Phobia

Destroying The Masses

Pessimiser

All I wanna know is, if so-called “Stoner Rock” is the next big trend in “heavy music,” then why the fuck aren’t Saint Vitus reuniting to be the co-headliners for Ozzfest? I’m seeing all of these bands – your Fu Manchus, your Nebulas, and loads of other bands – adopting a stoned, neo-psychedelic aesthetic. And I’m unimpressed. It reeks of hippie. What about the other side of pot smoking: the paranoia, the cold sweats, the lethargy? What about the darker, self-loathing realms that Black Sabbath only hinted at? That, friends, is where Grief comes in. Grief has been kicking around for quite some time now, criminally overlooked, vomiting out some of the bleakest and slooooooooowest doom grind we’ve ever been fortunate enough to have on this side of the Atlantic. Distorted, strangulated guitar riffs are left out to die, the drum beats are so plodding and spaced out, its almost a relief when the snare hits, just to let you know that the drummer didn’t die, and Jeff Hayward’s vocals are so amazing and pained and guttural, you just can’t even imagine the things he sees that you never could. And if Grief want to end their record with a freak-out “jazz” odyssey, who am I to stop them? Grief have, hands down, the best sense of tension and timing in metal right now. If your stomach isn’t ulcerated to hell by the end of “No Escape,” then you must be dead.

Phobia is another win-win proposition from Pessimiser. Sure, maybe the smell of dreadlocks and patchouli is going to make your eyes water a little bit, and maybe your dad gets Anarchy-in-Seattle flashbacks fifteen seconds in, to the point where he’s carving G7 into his wine cooler gut, but that’s rock and roll for you. I’m digging the hell out of Phobia because they’re dealing in pure, no-frills Extreme Noise Terror/Napalm Death distorto-hell. Its all here: the songs that stop on a dime, the “Mick-the-Human-Tornado-Harris” caveman screams, the bass so fuzzed up, it’s more a slight rumble in the stomach rather than an actual musical instrument. But it’s so perfect, they don’t fuck with the formula. Imagine if bar bands played “Suffer The Children” and Repulsion B-sides instead of “Margaritaville” and sundry Eagles numbers. There’s ten songs full of speedfuckkill, which I’m told explore issues of individualism in the face of the capitalist machine, 21st century soullessness, anti-fascism, the brutality of the military-industrial complex, and the need for new forms of expression and protest. I’m only here for the brutality, the message is a plus.

Pessimiser, P.O. Box 1070, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254; http://theologianrecords.com/pessimiser.html

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