You have no idea how much this picture pains me.
I'm going to go ahead and give you a hint. The winner's initials are S.H. Not much help, I know.
But before we get to the grand unveiling and crown the prom king and queen of Grindcore High's class of 2012, we need to look back at how we got here.
We started with 32 guitarists, selected by me (modified by many of you who were not slow to correct my oversights). Here's who's been left on the wayside already, as voted by you.
28. (tie) Pindgum (Total Fucking Destruction)
28. (tie) G. Toshimi (S.O.B.)
28. (tie) Chris Richardson (Kill the Client)
28. (tie) Ryan Unks/Paul Nowoczynski (Creation is Crucifixion)
28. (tie) Mika Aalto (Rotten Sound)
26. (tie) Ryan Page (Body Hammer/Robocop)
26. (tie) Mitch Dickenson (Heresy/Unseen Terror)
23. (tie) Marissa Martinez (Cretin)
23. (tie) Shinji (324)
23. (tie) Kurt Habelt (Siege)
19. (tie) Kapo (Swarrrm)
19. (tie) Mitch Harris (Napalm Death/Righteous Pigs/Defecation)
19. (tie) Mieszko Talarczyk (Nasum)
19. (tie) Sebastian Rokicki (Antigama)
17. (tie) Rob Marton (Discordance Axis)
17. (tie) Eduardo Borja (Maruta)
16. Chris Arp (Psyopus)
15. Richard Johnson (Enemy Soil/Drugs of Faith)
14. Steve Burda/Shane McLachlan (Phobia)
13. Rasyid (Wormrot)
11. (tie) Dorian Rainwater (Noisear/Kill the Client)
11. (tie) Matt Olivo/Aaron Freeman (Repulsion
9. (tie) Steve Procopio/Jim Baglino (Human Remains)
9. (tie) Bill Steer (Carcass/Napalm Death)
8. Papirmollen (Parlamentarisk Sodomi/PSUDOKU)
7. Erik Burke (Lethargy/Brutal Truth/Sulaco)
6. Beau Beasley (Insect Warfare)
5. Jesse Pintado (Terrorizer/Napalm Death/Resistant Culture)
3. (tie) Brent "Gurn" McCarty (Brutal Truth)
3. (tie)Takafumi Matsubara (Mortalized/GridLink/Haiyano Daisuki)
So that's how the last three months have shaken out, as decided by you, my not-so-loyal minions. (Rob Marton is 17? Really? Mieszko Talarczyk is only 19? C'mon people! Don't make me come down there.) But I have resolved to forgive your apostasy. Thank you to everyone who has participated. You all are the ones who make all this possible. I hope you've enjoyed the process.
So you the voters have spoken and the greatest grind guitarist is...
That's right. They overcame the fact that they weren't even included to win it all in a stunning come from behind victory.
Sorry. Couldn't resist pulling that one out. Again.
But seriously now. We're down to Steve Heritage of Assuck and Scott Hull of Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Pig Destroyer and Anal Cunt.
After carefully tallying your votes and tossing out some obvious trolling by the French judges, the best guitarist in grindcore is:
I shit you not. Though Scott Hull led through most of the voting, Steve Heritage mounted a last minute insurgency and managed to knot it all up at 12 votes a piece. So what should we do now? I have no clue. Would an extra week of voting settle this? Should I flip a coin? Rock, paper, scissors? Or all you all cool just to leave it as is? Personally, I like it. It speaks to the different impulses that drive grind and keep it vital, the past and the future knotted up together.
You make the call. Meanwhile, please enjoy the after party in the Jan Frederickx Memorial Cocktail Lounge.