All the winnowing to date leads to this. This round you’re going to crown kings of the region who will advance to compete for hemispheric dominance and, ultimately, the global title. You guys have been in top game form to date, but I think a few of these are going to test your argumentary mettle. Who is going to advance one step closer to grindcore's Mount Midoriyama?
Take a gander at the brackets here, and now it’s game on. You’ve got until Saturday.
Pig Destroyer (1) v. GridLink (2)
Art reigns supreme in North America. Now it’s a question of whether you prefer Pig Destroyer’s nightmarish explorations of psychological decay over GridLink’s neon jazzed tribute to the New World’s enduring fascination with the Far East. Many of you have grumbled about GridLink's dearth of material. How will they fare against Pig Destroyer's quartet of albums and a few splits?
Asia and Australia
Wormrot (1) v. 324 (2)
For the Pacific Rim, it’s a battle of the old guard vs. the new jacks. 324 have been pretty consistently awesome over a dozen years (though I will acknowledge Rebelgrind was not to everyone’s taste). In the other corner is Wormrot who are still riding the buzz of a single unbelievably awesome record that channels the pure essence of grind.
Rotten Sound (1) v. Sayyadina (2)
Apparently Sweden and Finland have been nurturing a healthy rivalry for about 1,000 years that is often settled at the hockey rink. I now propose we lay it to rest permanently on the vaunted grindcore pitch. Rotten Sound versus Sayyadina: whose country will be taking the bragging rights home?
Continental Europe and the United Kingdom
Napalm Death (1) v. Nashgul (5)
Napalm Death continue to surprise me. Given the antipathy to the current incarnation in some corners, I secretly expected them to nosedive in the first round when matched with Agathocles, but like the actual band, they just keep grinding it out. If Napalm Death are surprising me, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was by the passionate following Nashgul have engendered on the strength of their steadfastly classic approach to grind. Nashgul embody the same drive that Napalm Death shepherded into being but have since abandoned. Do you honor a legacy band still willing to take a chance or the young bucks who lay it on the line for heritage?