Monday, December 6, 2010

Grindcore Bracketology: The Regional Kings/The Battle for Hemispheric Dominance

I knew Zmaj would eventually break down and chime in. No one can resist my nefarious plotting. It was only a matter of time. Having already reached that crowning achievement, we’re rapidly closing in on the end of the brackets. For something I thought started as a lark and would probably only get five or six votes per round, this has snowballed beyond anything I could have predicted. Here’s what you had to say in the last round.

North America
Given their trans-Pacific composition, it’s probably only fitting that GridLink slaughtered Pig Destroyer by 22-12 as they advance to square off against the best Australasia has to offer. The constant refrain against them has been their lack of material to date, but apparently Amber Grey and a couple of one-off tracks are winners.

Asia and Australia
This was another round where nobody was going to walk away happy because a solid case could be made for either band walking away with the whole contest. The people have spoken and Wormrot edged out 324 by 16-12.

In the battle of the Nasum clones, Finns Rotten Sound squeaked past Swedes Sayyadina by 17-15. So Rotten Sound moves on to make the case for dominating all of Europe.

Continental Europe and the United Kingdom
Nashgul partisans put up a quality fight to the end. The Spaniards kept swinging above their weight division, but faced with the imperial might of Napalm Death, it was a bit like attacking the Death Star with spitballs and rubberbands. Napalm Death blew them out 21-12 as the machine rolls on. Oops, I just violated my own ground rules.

That means now we move on to the hemispheric championship round. It’s North America v. Asia and Europe turning on itself. The revised brackets are available here, and you have until Saturday to make your case.

North America v. Asia
GridLink (2) v. Wormrot (1)
Given Matsubara’s integral contributions to GridLink’s success, you could easily argue the band more properly belonged in the Asian category to begin with, so it’s only fitting to find them here squaring off with Wormrot. If there’s been a consistent knock on both bands throughout the process, it’s that each has a dearth of music to their credit to date. So in a battle of one album wonders, who deserves a shot at the title round?

Rotten Sound (1) v. Napalm Death (1)
I’m willing to bet Napalm Death was probably responsible for most of us really getting into grind (Utopia Banished in 1993 drastically altered the course of my musical life). Keeping in mind we’re talking about Napalm Death’s current incarnation, do they still stand up as the best grind has to offer for all the stylistic and personnel shifts? And how do they stack up against Rotten Sound, a band that embraces the grind ethic Napalm Death (and, yes, Nasum) laid down long since?


brutalex said...

Gridlink ├╝beralles.

TheThirdChildren said...

Gridlink ^^ I like Wormrot, but that's about it. Still not hooked.

Rotten Sound's flat, but still better than what's ND doing last years.

gamefaced said...

gridlink and
i vote smiths.

Will said...

You're the first person I've ever heard mention anything positive about Utopia Banished.

AusGrind said...

Pals, not too sure why 324 was Australia's representitive when you have the likes of The Kill (, Fuck I'm Dead and Agents of Abhorrence being missed out.

Seriously, anyone who digs Gridlink, do yourselves a favour and check out The Kill.

brutalex said...

Hey, guy. The Kill got knocked out about 2 rounds ago.

Grinddozz said...

FUUUUUUU, this is not that i have expected. Rotten Sound and Napalm Death are both my favourites, they are only here that matter. Don't care about the other two. Why?
Rotten Sound IS 5 full-lengths, 6 eps, 17 years around.
Napalm Death IS 14 full-lengths, 9 (?) eps, 28 years around. (but we should disqualify eveything that comes in 90's except Utopia, right?).
Both keeps quality. Both own underrated and overrated releases.
Wormrot and Gridlink ARE only about 1 full-length, 3-4 years around. Just beginners. High potential? While that is questionable.
Too bad, there's no Brutal Truth.
Anyway, eveything goes interesting and i happy to see Rotten Sound in 1/2 final :)

Anonymous said...

This is a tough choice. I've been a rabid fan of Gridlink since they started but I've only just discovered Wormrot who are awesome too.
My vote is going to go to Gridlink though since I feel their stuff is more new and forward thinking, whilst Wormrot are blasting the old school (albeit some of the best old school grind I've heard in ages). It's still a tough choice though; I might as well be flipping a coin.

The other one is easy for me. Napalm Death. Whilst I think Rotten Sound is wicked they don't grab me as much as other Scandinavian bands. But on the other hand I'm still buying each new Napalm release and going to every show.

gamefaced said...

um gee. whatever happened to unhory grave. what is going on. do i read this blog?

Anonymous said...



Alex Layzell said...

Wormrot - I love both bands, and I have literally sat here for 5 minutes trying to work out which is better, but it goes to Wormrot, they have been damn near daily on my playlist since I first heard them.

Napalm Death - Not picking these guys based on the legacy, I pick them merely because I love the direction they are going in, coming from metal Time Waits for no Slave was a perfect metal ridden Grindcore rant.

Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

Wormrot - Extremely tough choice. If I don't just put this thing down I'm going to keep changing back and forth. Wormrot to win it all.

Napalm Death - Rotten Sound have gotten too stale of late (although that last EP showed some of the old fire). ND aren't straight grind anymore, but are releasing awesome shit and taking chances.

Da5e said...

Gridlink. I don't 'get' Wormrot at all, and anyone who does is a poser and likely a vagrant in a bin.

Napalm Death, because they have funny Brummie accents.

Andrew Childers said...

we vagrants take exception to that, sir. as comptroller for vagrants' local #2376, i can attest that wormrot have never paid their dues for full membership.

Grinddozz said...

Alright, i make final decision.
Napalm Death are legends and always actual, that means they always wins, they even not posted on facebook "OMG! VOTE FOR US!11", and bad thing about them: they turned to grindcore roots but everything in 00's sounds the same and self-repetitive, if you only heard "Smear Campaign" and "Time Waits For No Slave" well it's ok, but if heard whole 00's you will understand what i said. But still, Napalm Death is one of the best band in this genre, they found their new unique sound, and i've seen them live once, and after all that years they are not gets old.
I'm going with Rotten Sound. They are unacknowledged gods of modern grind, i think they needs more attention. Every their album is different, it means if something goes wrong i will turn on the another record. For example, "Cycles" is their heaviest and overdistorted, but it is not that thing if you goes for some "fast as fuck blasting shit", stick with "Murderworks" then, and if you found RS monotonous and not something especial stick with "Drain", it's not typical crustgrind with groove/thrash (?) influences, where every song sounds different and consistent, but production on "Drain" is not killer and etc. And, finally, this is what i always think about RS
Untalented band with no potential?

DesiccatedVeins said...

Yeah, AusGrind, you're about 15 posts or so behind if you're just tuning in now. The bracket is a joint category, with 4 bands from Asia and 4 from Australia because of regional constraints. Click the "Bracketology" tag to follow this monstrosity's Katamari-like growth from the beginning.

North America vs. Australasia- Gridlink, without question. Their answer to the limited discography (besides the quality argument that most voters, and the band themselves, make)is the traceable lineage of Discordance Axis, Morrrrrtalized, and every grindcore band that Bryan Fajardo has ever, all of which are amalgamated in Gridlink as a sort of logical conclusion. It's not say those bands' discographies are a factor at all, but rather that weight of experience. That being said, kudos to Wormrot for getting this far. They may not have made their mark in a revolutionary way yet, but they seem poised to plant their own flag in the bitter earth of grind history very soon.

Eurotrashtalk- I'm going to go against my gut instinct on this one, in hopes of a better end result. I sincerely want new Napalm Death to lose, not out of any malice towards them in any way, but rather because their current material simply isn't anywhere near the same level as the new guard. However, rather than voting for Rotten Sound for this matchup, since I find them really boring and Gridlink would have no trouble beating them anyway, my vote is going to Napalm Death, in hopes that Gridlink can pull out the victory against them, if only because of the student-has-become-the-master implications. DON'T DISAPPOINT ME, GUYS. I'll be so pissed if the establishment wins the whole thing.

brooke said...

North America vs. Asia- Gridlink

Europe- Rotten Sound

Svvan Ronson said...

Gridlink and Rotten Sound

I gotta give it to 'em.
Between Gridlink and Wormrot, I'm just more into Gridlink (especially the new stuff)

And Napalm Death are falling off again. . So Rotten take that.

eva05 said...

Even golden era Napalm Death material(ie Peel Session 1+2, Scum and FETO) were stolen from (pick 1)

a. Repulsion
b. The Swans
c. Celtic Frost
d. SOB
e. All of the Above

If you answered e, you are correct.

One vote for Rotten Sound.


Flesh Monolith said...

Oh Andrew, good to know you're in the FVPCDD (Federation of Vagrents,Pastry Chefs, and Dumpster Divers), I'm in the Local 3026 myself.

Battles in the North: Gridlink

If originality were the deciding factor, it'd be Gridlink by a mile, but originality isn't typically a strong point for grindcore (and maybe this further illustrates Gridlink's worth)so other factors must be included. While I have no qualms with Wormrot's tried and true approach to grindcore, there's little that sets them apart from the blasting masses. Beyond the technicallity, flair and whatever else I find Gridlink to be in the vein of Slayer circa '86- write as many badass riffs as you can and fit them into the briefest amount of space as possible cutting any and all fat.

Gridlink are trailblazing, and there's no doubt in my mind that Orphan will be the second coming we've been waiting for since Prowler in the Yard or the Inalienable Dreamless.

Grlink has the energy, speed, voracity and pungency of Wormrot, and to boot, there's a gust of complexity and emotion not found in many bands today. As I said, no question; Gridlink.

As for Europe, I have nothing to say. I think both bands are past their prime, and each have only one thing going for them; nostalgia (ND) and hope (RS).

Flesh Monolith said...

Nothing ****NICE***** to say.

I should start reading what i write before i click publish

mdk said...

wormrot. easily. i cant stand gridlink's vocals.

napalm death. mainly for barneys dancing.

btw, im also a big fan of utopia banished. we're not alone. :)

Zmaj said...

Gridlink, 'cause they're faster goddamnit.

As for Europe, hey, FM said it nicely (i.e. not nicely).

Zmaj said...

And, erm, yes, you got me. In the end I'm just an infantile grind fanboy. D:

Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

Unrelated, as they've been ousted, but this whole thing has led to me ordering (and just this morning receiving) the Kill's live-to-air album.

Best drive to work evarrrrrrrrrr

God it was hard to pick between Gridlink and Wormrot, though! Even though I've stroked modern ND in each of their challenges so far, whoever wins the N.A./Australasia crown is my pick for world champ. Of the world.

Dante said...

Wormrot and Napalm. Easy.

"Abuse" is the best record in half a decade and I really like ND's latest records. And RS kinda bore me.

Andrew Childers said...

people don't like utopia banished? that was my very first grind record ever, so maybe it's nostalgia, but damn i love that record. it's the second album terrorizer shoulda made.

Unknown said...

Easy one first. Rotten Sound. I like ND, who doesn't. But really, I won't be happy if they win. It'll feel...dirty. Like letting the retiring boxer win his final bout against you even though you can kick his ass. Can I vote for Nashgul again? I really like them.
This ones pretty hard. Gridlink is sick, straight up. Ripping, shredding, blasting grind kept short and fast. No groove, no gore, only sci-fi grind. Okay they have groove, but it's always on the surface, it's never fully carved out. Wormrot is blasting old school grind that has obvious hardcore punk influences instead of Joe Satriani. Even though I called 324 to win, I was not upset at all that Wormrot has made it this far. They fucking rock. And as much as I don't want to say it out loud I sort of feel like they do it for the passion and fun, not as a career like Gridlink. This grassroots DIY aspect wins menover almost every time. Wormrot to win it all.
PS: Hey Andrew, why wasn't Macabre on here? We really need more of these, perhaps 32 band brackets by country.

Antti said...

Napalm Death vs. Rotten Sound? Well, as it's about comparing modern ND and RS, I'd choose Rotten Sound.

ND's "scum" was the thing that turned me to grind in the first place, and I always adored the scum/feto lineup's noise. It's great that ND is still going on, but I do find their modern material somewhat flat nowadays. Back when RS changed their drummer, I was quite sceptic what would follow. Sami might lack the technicality of Kai, but he replaces that with really powerful, strong drumming. And manic blasting.

RS is definitely my choice after thinking it a bit. With all the respect to ND though, sure.

eva05 said...

"not as a career like Gridlink."

What in the ever loving fuck does this mean? Does anyone somehow think GridLink(or any of the bands I have done for that matter) are a cash cow?

We're lucky if we can get together 1-2x a year. We're lucky if we can sell 1000 copies of a record. Fuck, we'd be happy if we could break even (we haven't).

Unfortunately, we're not 15 anymore and living with our parents. 3 of the 5 people in the band have families to support and it's a huge effort for us to even do this at all.

About the only thing we are determined to do, is not lose money doing shows. Why? We would rather lose our shirts writing/recording new music and not turn into a touring band in the t-shirt and merch business.

@ Andrew, for me Utopia was the last gasp of a worn out bunch of guys milking a name they never earned. That was also when all the Earache bands started using triggers, pro-tools and shit to cover up the fact that they couldn't play their music. (I saw Carcass live around that time and they were was like like the drummer wasn't even playing and Steer kept missing notes in the more complex riffs....)

I read an interview with Mick Harris where Shane tried to get him into a grind type project band and when Mick couldn't play the fast stuff, Shane said to him, "Don't worry we'll fix it all in pro-tools." Mick Harris had the integrity to step away from it and do something else. Good for him.

Everything I've seen/heard from ND since MM is formulaic and lifeless. Based on everything I hear about their studio time, they can barely even play their worn out brand of thin crust pizza metal without significant reworking. Their music certainly doesn't come from the heart. I doubt any of them have had a real job ever. What the fuck do they actually know about the evils of big business and war?!

Then again, maybe I shouldn't be surprised that all of you don't want to murder the members of ND. Most of you people weren't alive back when if a band wanted to play blast parts they actually had to have the skill to play them ala Repulsion, SOB, Mick Harris era ND, Assuck, OLD, Human Remains, Cosmic Hurse, Heresy, etc.

Napalm with Dorrian is amazing. Fuck just watch old ND videos and see how hard Mick Harris is pushing himself. I can even live with the Mentally Murdered EP, but post Dorian, they went from smart and intense social commentary to an understanding of the world that make Noam Chomsky seem like an insightful genius. And in case you were wondering, I think Naom Chomsky is a fucking douche.

Wow I haven't vented about music like that in a while. I better save some of that for the next album in my career.


Grinddozz said...

I guess "j" is for "joke". Good that you are not voted for yourself.

orfee said...

Thin crust pizza metal, laule.


Da5e said...

Fight! Fight! Fight!

My money's on Mr. eva05, there.

Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

STFU, Jon.

Your criticisms ring hollow now that we've all seen you flying around in your fucking hovercar and making it rain with that Inalienable Dreamless paper.

eva05 said...

You got me cold William. I am typing this from my private island in Dubai, Changistan or Inalieastan, where I have been running this blog under the alias of Andrew Childers for the past few years.

I suppose I should recall the black hawks with latex clad sexroid combat replicants that I dispatched earlier to deal with the dissenting voices.



Bill Willingham IV, Esquire said...

Wait. Send the sexroids.

I'm not sure what they are, but it sounds interesting.

Andrew Childers said...


now i'm not the sharpest spork in the draw, but seriously? that's jon chang? like the jon chang?

i'm honored.

how long have the rest of you knuckledheads known this and why didn't anybody tell me that was THE JON FUCKING CHANG?? buncha worthless ingrates.

i will try not to squeeee like the fanboi we all known i am (i'm wearing my compiling autumn shirt as i type this). but umm, mr. chang, sir. it would be an honor if you autographed my jouhou lunchbox.

plus sexroids. yes, lots and lots of sexroids.

Flesh Monolith said...

Blackhawks? you've hired a hockey team on sexroids? dear grind-bastard-jesus, what will we do?

Ignore him guys, he's hopped up on goofballs and watching his 4,000 copies of Evangelion on blu ray on his 4,000 3d tvs. Totally out of it.

Andrew Childers said...


short version: pure sentimentality.

long version: i can still remember every detail of the day. i was sitting in spanish class at 15 not learning spanish. i was in the row of desks on the right side of the class, fourth chair back, slouched. which pretty sums up my entire high school experience.
i had borrowed my friend's 90 minute tdk cassette because it had suicidal tendency's first album on it. and being a somewhat disaffected miscreant, i was all about the skate punk at the time like bands like [NAME REDACTED TO AVOID SPOILING PLANS FOR FUTURE POST].
i was kicking back in class not learning, one headphone snaked up the sleeve of my flannel shirt surreptitiously listening to psycho miko when i should be conjugating or some shit.
end of tape.
automatic side flipper does its thing
on side b of my friend's cassette is some suitably punk sounding thing called "napalm death - utopia banished"
now at that point, sepultura was pretty much the extent of metal i could stomach (no zmaj i will not rehash the grind is metal v. punk argument). i had never heard anything like that at the time. it was totally new to me. finally somebody had nailed the speed and aggression i'd been yearning for since i started borrowing my dad's foreigner albums (seriously, the heaviest thing in my parents' music collection).
that lead me backwards to scum and feto, to repulsion, to siege and basically got me hooked on grind for life. priming me to later worship bands like *ahem* discordance axis, insect warfare, nasum and wormrot.

even today, everytime i turn utopia on i'm transported back to that 15 year old dork in spanish class and the sense of wonder at something so new. 18 years later that feeling hasn't gone away. say what you will about that album, but i love it to shit.

Flesh Monolith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DesiccatedVeins said...

I figured ZOMG JON CHANG, GUYS! was sort of a dick move. I also kind of assumed you knew; how many guys named Jon can there be with an equally strong love for both Eva and grindcore?

And in my case, I started listening to Napalm Death quite a while after I got into grindcore. They were always just such a ubiquitous band that it became a case of "Why bother?" Plus, I had been exposed quite a bit to their later stuff, so I assumed they were just boring.

Flesh Monolith said...

Yo Jon, where was the merch at MDF? I was so excited to dump my wallet on your table and what was there? NOTHING!

You guys were amazing though, I haven't been this excited for an album in awhile (not to mention the redux of Amber Grey).

DesiccatedVeins said...

Also, I wonder if the person who said, "i cant stand gridlink's vocals" feels guilty now? Also, WHAT?

eva05 said...

@Andrew...I will sign your lunch box.

@ Flesh. Merch was right at the entrance to the inside room where we played actually. We just about sold outta everything. I think I have 1-2 tee shirts left if you're feeling left out.


Zmaj said...

Goddamnit, I can't stop cracking up over here

brutalex said...

Fuck, I wish I had a Jouhou lunchbox. I'd be the coolest kid in school.

Andrew Childers said...

not nearly as cool as my looking for an answer sausage grinder.

Paul Nordin said...

I think Gridlink really takes the cake and their new demos sound promising. gotta give it to gridlink for the same reasons that I gave it to them last time.

I was glancing at the rules stated at the beginning of this competition and it said something like Napalm Death will be judged by it's "Recent Incarnation" I therefore must cast my vote for Rotten Sound.

Alex said...


Rotten Sound

PatrickDM said...

Utopia Banished was also the album that got me into grind. I listened to it yesterday and I still love it. Nice balance of death and grind

Anonymous said...

gridlink 'cause of pikadourei' epileptic attack
rotten sound 'cause of bloody baldness and not being vegans

Anonymous said...

Easy choice this round, I just need to look at my music stats on,


Rotten Sound


Luke Oram said...

Can we not have Gridlink AND Wormrot?


mdk said...

no i dont feel guilty at all and im sure he wont lose any sleep over my opinion.

Anonymous said...

GridLink for speed

Napalm Death just because

thedowngoing said...

gridlink or riot.