Straight To The Point: Quick Reviews Of BEATEN TO DEATH And WHITE SPOT

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Beaten to Death – Unplugged

Unplugged cover art

Armed with a brittle guitar tone, a menagerie of mangled riffs, an impeccable sense of melody and a myriad of harsh vocal techniques, Norway’s Beaten to Death create some of the most interesting grindcore out there right now. With two eclectic and eccentric full-lengths under their belt since their 2011 inception, the Norwegian crew keep the jams coming with their third album, the ironically-titled Unplugged. Featuring 13 new tracks that collectively clock-in around 21 minutes in length, Unplugged offers more of the non-traditional, forward-thinking grind the group is slowly becoming known for. The band unleash endless amounts of erratic riffs in these short-bursts of insanity, all of which are under two-minutes in length. The guitars conjure up tremolo-picked death-dealing, complex dissonant aggression and a surprising amount of spiraling, soaring melodies. The highly-audible bass matches the guitars’ intensity and the drumming only adds to the bloodshed with its ferociousness. The vocals, which range from raspy ululations to high-pitched screeches and guttural lows, are the icing on this oozing grindcore cake. Songs like “Papyrus Containing The Spell To Summon The Breath Of Life Enshrined In The Collected Scrolls Of Sheryl Crow” will rip the listener limb from limb with its death-infused grit, while tunes such as “Robert Sylvester Kelly” feature a plethora of intertwining, bouncing and weaving melodies that dance above furious blast beats. Then there are those monstrous hymns like “Greenway Harris” and “Knulleviser for Barn” that leave little to no room for melodious accompaniment as they let knife-sharp, dissonant carnage do its dirty work. Unplugged is not your typical grindcore affair and that’s what makes it shine. Beaten to Death are doing some fascinating things in the genre and, hopefully, will continue to do so.

Rating: 8/10
Label: Mas-Kina Recordings
Release Date: October 9, 2015
Favorite Tracks: “”Papyrus Containing The Spell To Summon The Breath Of Life Enshrined In The Collected Scrolls Of Sheryl Crow”, “Menstrubation”, “Don’t You Dare To Call Us Heavy Metal”, “Robert Sylvester Kelly”, “Knulleviser for Barn” and “Troll”
For Fans: Gridlink, Discordance Axis, Piss Vortex and See You Next Tuesday


White Spot – Everything Changes, Nothing Disappears 

Everything Changes, Nothing Disappears cover art

Just a mere five months after the release of his second record, Father SongsLouisiana one-man noise rocker Marcus Lemoine (a.k.a. White Spot) unleashes yet another album of noisy eccentricities by the name of Everything Changes, Nothing Disappears. The record acts as one 15-minute composition broken up into seven parts that flow seamlessly into one another. “In The Beginning There Was…” opens up the record with 38 seconds of abstract soundscapes, lulling the listener into a false of security before the tumultuous “Shock” comes crashing in. The track is a 52 second onslaught of raw and noisy pseudo-hardcore debauchery that sounds even more maniacal with Lemoine’s insanity-laced vocals. The Arab on Radar meets The Jesus Lizard sounding “Fever” follows shortly after. The throbbing bass lines and percussive groove remain rather constant throughout, while the guitars generate disjunctive licks and walls of mentally unstable sound. The polarizing noise takes a short breather on the track “Searching”, which revolves around an aberrated rock groove and murky, chugging riffs. “Searching” is then followed by the two instrumental, contrasting tracks “Then Calm…” and “Inspiration”. “Then Calm…” features roughly 48 seconds of clean, melodic chords, while “Inspiration” rips out highly distorted, razor sharp solo work. The album is brought to an end with the hazy-eyed crawl of “And We Felt It In Our Bones”. The track features a fuzzy, sludge-tinged bass line that lumbers about repetitively as the guitars churn out effect-laden leads and Lemoine let’s his vocals propel the track into hysterical territory. Everything Changes, Nothing Disappears is another short, but sweet release from this promising, prolific artist. White Spot seems to grow sonically with each new release and will, hopefully, continue to do so.

Rating: 8/10
Label: Self-release
Release Date: June 22, 2015
Favorite Tracks: “Shock” and “Fever”
For Fans Of: The Jesus Lizard, Cows, AIDS Wolf and Shellac


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