Monday, November 29, 2010

Grindcore Bracketology: Semifinals/Regional Championships

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.

North America
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?


Ryan Page said...

These are hard. Ok, here's my best shot:

Pig Destroyer. I love gridlink, but pig destroyer have more material, and what they've got is a lot less thin sounding (ironically). Honestly, if the new album was out earlier, this would have been a tougher decision, but 10 (excellent) minutes doesn't really stand up to the hours of enjoyment pig destroyer regularly give to me.

I love 324, but wormrot for the win, these guys slay. Tough decision once again.

Sayyadina are cool, but I find rotten sound's production more fitting. The other thing is, I am often very close to being really into, but something always pushes it over the edge into european hardcore, and I don't really dig it. Rotten Sound.

And finally: napalm death. I don't know a ton about nashgul, but honestly I am a huge fan of the last napalm death album, and the last couple weren't half bad either.

Anonymous said...

PD by miles and miles.

324 v Wormrot? toss-up

Rotten Sound.

Napalm Death by miles and miles.

Orthodoxyn said...

North America - Gridlink
Although I feel bad only backing 11 minutes of material as superior, but Gridlink have the whole package whereas Pig Destroyer at moments do tend to drag their feet.

Asia - Wormrot
Have you heard their latest split, they have upped their game, I can't wait for their new release.

Scandinavia - Rotten Sound
Rotten Sound just play pure defenastrative Grindcore, the way it was supposed to be done.

Rest of Europe - Napalm Death
National interests aside, I love Time Waits for No Slave that bit much more than Nashgul.

Anonymous said...

If it matters, there's two sample tracks from GridLink Orphan loaded onto their myspace page today.

brutalex said...

N.A.- Gridlink. I'd take Gridlink's streamlined perfection over any of Pig Destroyer's albums every time.

Asia- 324. Wormrot undoubtedly have a long career of grinding ahead of them and I can't wait for it, but come on, it's 32goddamn4 for fuck's sake!

Scandinavia- both are way too sterile for my tastes

Europe- Nashgul. We all know ND won't ever put out a record that tops their old ones, they're just too revered. Napalm Death are in the grind halls for life, that's obvious, therefore my vote goes to those beautifully filthy Spaniards for carrying the torch Napalm Death dropped.

TheThirdChildren said...

Gridlink. PD's long past their prime, can't bother to listen newer releases. Amber Gray is the best grindcore album since TID and Orphan teasers sound promising.

324. Fuck it, it's 324. Tough one.


Nashgul, only because ND are way to lazy lately.

Heh, I've just repeated what the last guy said.

JP said...

n.a. - gridlink, because pig destroyer has a twitter account and gridlink has fajardo.

asia - wormrot. sorry.

scand - sayyadina, i guess.

europe - nashgul, because barney greenway is not in nashgul.

Dan said...

N.A.: I think this may be the match to end all matches here. I'm going with GridLink. PD got me into grind, but their body of work has a definite quality arc for me. The early stuff is good, P.I.T.Y. is amazing, and after that they fell off to the point where they're not even grinding that often anymore. They're still good metal, but even diehards must admit P.D.'s commitment to the blastbeat is waning. I think the 2 bands tie on lyrics, but GridLink chews holes through P.D. on counts of production, visual art (and P.D.'s is great, so that's saying a lot), and subject matter. Oh, and the 2 new tracks that GridLink dropped today? They slay.

Asia: Wormrot by a hair's breadth. I've been listening to 324 for years now, and I've noticed one mild downside: their albums can get a little repetitive by the end of a listening. Wormrot's disc stays fresh the whole way through, so I think they may have an edge in the songwriting department. That said, I still feel like I'm dishonoring my sensei.

Scandinavia - Rotten Sound. Orthodoxyn said it right in his post above me. Sayyadina's good, but I wasn't so into their production. And RS just decapitate it year in and year out. Maybe in a few years, Sayyadina.

Rest of Europe: Nashgul. I know, it's heresy. What can I say? I'm that guy who likes the Stones over the Beatles. N.D.'s early albums are amazing -- cornerstones of the genre. But I'm just not interested in what they're doing now, and I have to go back DECADES in their catalog to find stuff that lights my fire. And then here's Nashgul -- crusty, nasty, FAST, tormented, sometimes even a little blackened. They clearly see beyond the edge of the frame in terms of songwriting. But I love that these two are up against each other, mainly because Nashgul has that old school flav that's so clearly in N.D.'s tradition.

TheThirdChildren said...

@JD J.Randall has both twitter & blog which you should all follow. I mean, "This coupe kills fascists" :D

And how come there's no ANb here? They've been releasing splits like every other week. Oh yeah, they're powerviolence now, sorry.

deathgrindfreak said...

Pig Destroyer
Rotten Sound
Napalm Death

Anonymous said...




Napalm Death

NickV said...

Pig Destroyer wins this one. I love Gridlink but they just don't have enough material to compete with.

324 gets this one. Wormrot is dope but 324 has a bit more variety and lets face it, Wormrot isn't the most original thing on the planet.

Rotten Sound for sure, both are nasty but I've been into Rotten Sound for a lot longer.

It's hard to beat Napalm Death, Nashgul is crusty and ND's production is getting slicker all the time but I have to go with the legends for the win

Amalgamated said...

n/a - the whole point of this exercise is to recommend bands to someone exploring the genre. what kind of service do we offer if all we can come up with is 12 minutes of music? if someone wants their face shredded they are better served by Parlimentarisk Sodomi or even Watchmaker (active status notwithstanding). in this regard Pig Destroyer is the better choice. their material has definitely evolved over the years, and by gauging what songs and styles are liked, countless other bands can be recommended.

a&a - kinda sad to see them lumped together like this. i'll side with wormrot.

scand - rotten sound. they at least offer a dynamic. the difference between the From Crust Til Grind comp and Murderworks is unmistakable.

ce/uk - nashgul.

Vincent said...

gridlink for the n. american bracket. i favor quality of work over quantity. while pig destroyer have released more albums none of those, imo, match the tight and meticulous craftsmanship of amber grey. and in keeping with the context of this contest gridlink more closely adhere to grindcore aesthetics with the brevity and intensity of their one album. in contrast, pig destroyer create a hybrid of heavy music styles which have now veered clearly into death grind territory while relinquishing much of what made their previous albums more in keeping with traditional aesthetics of grindcore. while terrifyer is my preferred album from pxd(one of my faves in gen. and one of the best of the decade imo) it still does not match the pure ferocity of amber grey.

Jyb said...




Napalm Death

Alex said...

North America - Gridlink, I've never really been into Pig Destroyer...

Asia and Australia - blank, don't know any of them enough to judge

Scandinavia - Rotten Sound, definitely, Nasum's little brother!

Continental Europe and the United Kingdom - Napalm Death, love the grandpas!

Grinddozz said...

Pig Destroyer
Rotten Sound
Napalm Death

gamefaced said...

fuck pig destroyer. jeez. gridlink atw.
324. but of course.
rotten sound.
and uh, nashgul.

macho insecurity said...

Gridlink - Love PD but they have been in steep decline for years. Glidlink may not have many releases but from what they've done and what I've heard of the new stuff I'd go with them everytime.

Wormrot - Tough one. 324 are amazing and so are wormrot. only reason wormrot win is because I know them and they are great guys.

Sayyadina - Don't like rotten sound

Napalm Death - Shame I've gotta vote against nashgul but I'm a brummie and its bad form to vote against the home team. Napalm may not be much of a grind band nowadays but they are still great live and lovely chaps.

Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

N.A. Pig Destroyer.

This was extremely fuckin' tough. Amber Gray slayed and the couple of new songs sound fucking amazing. However, unlike a lot of people here, I think PD picked back up on their last album. Like Ryan said, if the new album was already out, maybe this would be different.

A and A: Not familiar enough with 324 to vote.

Scandi: Sayyadina

Rotten Sound's last full-length was way too clean (although their EP suggests they could be going back to the dirt). Sayyadina just fucking rule.

Europe: Napalm Death

Big fan of the last two albums. Nashgul is rad, but watching grindcore elder statesmen take risks and bring them off in style gets my vote.

Jesus, these were tough.

Flesh Monolith said...

Alot of 1vs2, hmm.

NA. Gridlink
Toughest one here, but Gridlink's oozing with so much. Forget Chang, the rest of that band is just brilliant. I see great things for them, and with PxDx's inactivity they both are moving at the same pace. Gridlink, in everyway, is the grind band of today; 3 cheers to them.

Asia. 324
I still don't get the hype around Wormrot.

Scabdinvia Sayyadina
Rotten Sound has one of the most boring vocalists ever! Their production's become so sterile and totally "not tr00 dude" Up the punx, go Sayyadina!

Cont. Europe/UK Nashgul
Fuck yeah, zombies and grindcore played from the heart. I'm missing a Napalm death show as we speak simply because they've gotten so stale. clean production, Barney who I've never liked (Lee Dorian is god!) and as great a group of guys they are, they're booooorrring.

Zmaj said...

Oh well, fuck it.

1. GridLink, 'cause they're faster.

2. Wormrot. Their stuff certainly beats at least Rebelgrind in many aspects important to grind, but in any case, I like the guys and it's my vote that I think they deserve.

3. A bit tough, really, but I'll go with Sayyadina for sentimental listening habits. Put me out of my misery! Didn't enjoy that Napalm EP much, anyhow.

4. Nashgul gets my vote 'cause Napalm Death is still the president, somehow. "Fuck your democracy!" ;D

Amalgamated: "the whole point of this exercise is to recommend bands to someone exploring the genre."

When did that happen, man? That's a quality that the whole thing definitely doesn't have. Although a large part of the voting base consists of "true grind enthusiasts" (har har har), it's still just a popularity contest. I mean, the tournament specifically pertains to active bands (pretty much chosen on basis of popularity in the first place) and it takes place on the internet; bluntly put, someone looking to explore the genre will realistically bump into Pig Destroyer one way or another not too long after (s)he has started (i.e. immediately).

Sean said...

These are some tough choices!

N.A. - Both bands are great, but Pig Destroyer wins simply because I constantly return to their albums.

Asia - 324 has is great, but Wormrot wins. They are engaging in a way that 324 are not.

Scandi - Sayyadina.

Europe - Napalm Death. Like others, I really enjoyed the last album.

defeatofsanity said...

1. GRIDLINK. pig destroyer has never done anything for me.

2. SAYYADINA. one of my favorite bands in this tourney.

3. WORMROT. cap'n cleanoff should be here but oh well, what can ya do.

4. NASHGUL. cause they're great stuff!

DesiccatedVeins said...

Mt. Midoriyama reference FTW!!!

North America- Fuck me, this one's like having to kill a child. In terms of musicality, Pig Destroyer are one of my favorite bands of any genre. Explosions in Ward 6 and PitY are amazing, assaultive and intelligent slabs of grind psychosis; Terrifyer, while dialing back the brutality, was an artistic statement that expanded the limitations of their prescribed genre, and Phantom Limb returned the sense of ferocity and horror, if not the sheer speed, creating what I consider a truly excellent metal album. However, Karlo distilled it best in his vote; Gridlink are faster, and while it may seem blunt, this is a grindcore competition. Also, I think a victory for Gridlink would be fitting conclusion for this competition, since it is, at its core, about the state of grind today. No band represents my hopes for the genre as a whole quite like they do, and out of the remaining contenders, they seem the most fitting, to me, to sweep the whole thing.

Asia & Australia- Keeping with the spirit of that last ruling, I'm going to go with Wormrot. Yeah, I know 324 have the legacy, and they're influential and all that, but the whole issue boils down to Rebelgrind. They're going to have to prove to me that I should still care with their next album, because as of now I consider them sort of a lost cause. Oh, and mandatory stuff about how Wormrot are nice/cool/exciting/saved Digby Pearson's sorry ass in terms of credibility.

Scandinavia- Overall, this has been my least favorite bracket because, honestly, it's a regional sound that leaves me pretty cold and indifferent most of the time. However, I've got enough of an opinion on this particular matchup to voice it, and I shall. Right. Now. Sayyadina get this vote, because I still can't get behind Rotten Sound's rotten Nasum retread sound. Yes, I've listened to Murderworks. Yes, it's okay. Can I get back to this Japanese band who sound like they recorded in the trunk of a car now?

Europe- Nashgul gets this one. I have nothing but respect for Napalm Death, but it's just tough for me to care about their new stuff that much. FEtO for life.

Shanetera said...

Gridlink. Pig Desroyer is good and shit but Gridlink just shreds more, blasts more and have more interesting lyrics to me. A lot of people talk about Pig Destroyer having become a really well rounded metal band lately, but according to the metal archives grind isn't metal. 'Nuff said here.
I called this at the very beginning. Oh Merlin, why do j have to choose? I'm choosing 324 because I haven't heard the new Wormrot split yet. I hope the homeboys from Nippon don't disappoint this time round.
Uuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmm...........Rotten Sound. Old school grind, straight up.
Speaking of which, I don't expect them to pull it (the limb) off but I vote for Nashgul. A slightly more than merely marred legacy that has slown down in multiple ways can hopefully give way to energetic zombie metal punks. Also Nashgul writes about cool stuff and has rad song titles.

Dante said...

N.A. - Gridlink. They may only have one album, but it slays. And, hard as i've tried, i never got into Pig Destroyer.

A&A - Wormrot. 324 are great but I haven't gone bezerk with a record, like i go with "Abuse", since "Helvete".

Scand. - Sayyadina. This one was pretty tight but, in the end, i find more consistency in them.

Europe - Napalm Death. I really like modern ND. Nashgul are good though.

And thank fuck for getting to vote this time! It would be the 4th time i'd come to vote a day late.
This kind of thing is fun.

Anonymous said...

Gridlink. Their album may only be 11 minutes long, but that's all they need to prove themselves.

324. I just prefer their sound over Wormrot, but I can't say anything bad about Wormrot.

Rotten Sound. Saw them live, was blown away.

Napalm Death. It speaks for itself.

Paul Nordin said...

have to go with Grindlink, faster, grind-ier, better lyrics etc.

324, cause they are more fun

Sayyadina, Both Nasum-clones (which is a good thing) but Sayyadina is ever so slightly better

Napalm Death, cause I want to see them in the finals only to lose to Gridlink or Sayyadina.

Amalgamated said...

grind as popularity contest. too funny.

brooke said...

Pig Destroyer

Davydd Grimm said...

Gridlink. Anyone who disagrees is clearly a Communist.

Anthony Saunders said...

Rotten Sound
Napalm Death

Anonymous said...

Ok, GridLink.

Anonymous said...

Pig Destroyer
Rotten Sound
Napalm Death

Ryan Page said...

I'm surprised pig destroyer is going lose.

Davydd Grimm said...

I'm not, they're dull.



Rotten Sound

Napalm Death.

Shanetera said...

Speaking of popularity contest, why wasn't Cretin in the North America bracket? I know Mr. Childers has as big a boner as me for them.

Andrew Childers said...

given marissa martinez' recent transformation, that's just awkward enough to make an awesome cretin song, shane.

DesiccatedVeins said...

"Blogger Boner Popularity War"? "Blogivorous Erections"?

Wet Nightmare said...

Pig Destroyer-bc i love them damn it! although they have a 11 min album, it still loses my attention

324-love both and whoever wins im happy for them

sayyadina-the best rotten sound album was with their old drummer,so im gonna have to go with sayyadina. took me forever to check them out, but so worth it.

napalm death

Wet Nightmare said...

although gridlink has an 11 min album, it still loses my attention.

SunnyvaleTrash said...

N.A. - I give this one to Gridlink on the promise on their future material over the lacking quality in recent P.D. albums

S - Rotten Sound by far. Sayyadina has just never held my interest

A&A - No Vote.

U.K.&Eur - I've never listened to Nasgul, but I doubt they could top ND. And I love the last two ND albums. Perhaps I owe it to Nashgul to give their material a listen though.

eva05 said...

I have to take issue with this whole thing. Why isn't Repulsion represented in the North American bracket?!

Is that because they would be the default winner in every region because of their unparalleled theater-wide WMD capabilities?

I only say this because when I want someone to get the best of grind I generally break out the second Napalm Death Peel Session, the SOB side of the ND/SOB split and Repulsion "Horrified".


Orthodoxyn said...

Its about modern day Grindcore classic.

Anonymous said...

Rotten Sound
Pig Destroyer
Napalm Death

DesiccatedVeins said...

Point taken, Jon, but a major part of it is modern groups that are contributing to the elevation or continuation of modern grind in some capacity. It is true that not only do Repulsion rule but they're still playing shows, but to my knowledge they haven't written a song since maybe the early 90s or late 80s.


Anonymous said...

Rotten Sound
Pig Destroyer
Napalm Death

DesiccatedVeins said...

Haha, and wait. I just realized that person voted for both bands in the Scandi bracket; is that anon vote after my comment a retraction of the earlier vote, or another person entirely?

Andrew Childers said...

yeah i'm not sure i'm gonna handle that when i start tallying this stuff up.

either way, 50th comment! you guys are kicking ass. there's some great arguments going on. there's nothing music nerds like more than making lists and then arguing over why everyone else's list sucks balls.

eva05 said...

Desiccated - it's my understanding that Repulsion started work on a second LP but scrapped it when they realized they couldn't improve on Horrified.

But I get why they were excluded from this.

Andrew Childers said...

oh yeah, eva05. basically this all started cuz one reader who's rather new to grind asked which new bands should get his hard earned money. so it's limited to currently active bands. otherwise, given the frightening proportion of readers who have discordance axis inked into their skin, this whole thing would be fait accompli.

eva05 said...

You flatter us sir.

orfee said...

Gridlink. It's the closest thing to Mortalized.


Davydd Grimm said...

"given the frightening proportion of readers who have discordance axis inked into their skin"

How many of us are there, actually? I'd like to shake the hand of someone as inkily idiotic as I :D

Andrew Childers said...

brutalex followed in your inksteps as it were.

Zmaj said...

Hey, it's you and Alex that I know of.

brutalex said...

Don't worry, Grimm, yours is still by far the sexiest one on the proverbial block.

Grinddozz said...

Andrew Childers @ That two anon votes are coming from the same person. I invited my friend to support RS, he just didn't know the rules. ;)

Andrew Childers said...

cool. thanks for clarifying.

Paul Nordin said...

you know what this thing could use? an audio podcast where two guys are talking like sportscasters, they talk about the results and then make predictions for the upcoming games. Guy 1: "Now Sayyadina hasn't put out an album since '07 and that's certainly going to effect their defensive line in Sunday's game."
Guy 2: "Couldn't agree more Bob, but remember that the guitars were a little too down-mixed during Rotten Sound's last album and I'm not sure how prepared for this game they are."
Guy 1: "let's turn now to Jim Bowers for the weather, Jim?"
Jim: "Thanks Bob, well..."

ect, ect, ect.

Andrew Childers said...

haha. that'd be pretty funny actually. i used to work in radio but i've got a voice better suited for mime.

well, jim, how long do you think napalm death can keep overperforming at this level?