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Grind `em All (Introduction)

Teo Marcelo is art geek from Ukraine. He is a passionate rock- and movie-lover since childhood and has a profound knowledge in this topics.

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There is an opinion among ordinary lovers of heavy music that the genre called Grindcore is an unbearable sound mess that cannot be adequately listened to and e

According to many people, grind is simply boring and primitive. “Grindcore? No, I’m not listening. And what is there to listen to?! " – once told me a friend of mine, a fan of, imagine, Norwegian Black Metal. For the time being, I myself, as a noble lover of any rough and unusual music, adhered to a similar point of view. However, recently, my view of this genre has changed to some extent, as soon as I listened to a couple of dozen of the most diverse grindcore bands.

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To begin with, it is worth figuring out what, in essence, grindcore is for readers less familiar with the topic.

Grindcore, or, generally speaking, without unnecessary prefixes – grind, is an extreme genre of music at the junction of such styles of heavy music as hardcore punk and death metal. The characteristic features of grind are a dirty guitar sound with a lowered tuning, a rather short length of tracks, which is often compensated by their number on the album, heart-rending screams, growls and screams instead of clean or to some extent legible vocals, and, of course, their majesty blastbeats, a special high-speed, one-type technique of playing drums, designed to cause the effect of chaos and animal pressure in music. As you can see for yourself, grindcore is still more closely intertwined with the tradition of the hardcore underground scene, borrowing a lot and, let's say, being inspired by bands that played in the styles of anarcho-punk and crust-punk. Most often the UK, less often the United States are considered to be a grindcore and all its derivatives’ homeland. As a person who loves to approach the issue from a complex perspective and analyze the phenomena against the background of the general picture, I can name two main reasons for the appearance of such a trend in heavy music.

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The first is a general tiredness from usual metal sound and commercial approach to writing this kind of music.

Punk itself has undergone many reincarnations, due to the constant attempts of major labels to reach an audience of such music and adapt it for a wider audience. Some of the musicians made compromises with the ethics of the underground hardcore scene, while in others it caused a sharp rejection and a reaction in the form of an even greater withdrawal into anti-commercialism. So called a furious protest. Ultimately, sooner or later, either loot or good wins. And in the case of grindcore, neither the first nor the second won out – the pure marginal antisocial evil, which is grindcore, won. Grindcore is by nature a protest at the limit of human capabilities, a bit like Black Metal in the 90`s. Eerie anhedonia, decadence and hatred for everything that caresses the ears of the philistine, namely that "consumer" of music, degenerating into admiration for the disgusting and lousy.

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The second reason is the time at which this music appeared, and specifically the mid-80s.

The youth of Britain and the United States, as is usually the case, was seething with a feeling of disgust for the successful conformist middle and upper class, people who actively participated in the construction of the then neo-conservative economic model. The general hatred for Reagan and Thatcher still oozes from the lyrics of the grind musicians. Most of them came from small industrial towns, whose time came to an end at the time the neoconservatives came to power and local economic crises and social depression began. Of course, without even trying to understand the reasons and where all these processes come from, young talents rushed to write down their anti-capitalist and non-conformist opuses.

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Sorry for such a long introduction to my article series

I was not going to drag it out so much at all. Even in my thoughts I could not admit that in a conversation about grindcore, I would pay so much attention to the social and economic prerequisites of the damn subgenre of punk rock. Well, I’m ready to disappoint everyone, this series of articles I have planned is not a list of the best albums in the genre or the top of an exceptionally pure grindcore without impurities. No, there I have collected my favorite bands from all branches of the grind. Grindcore, Goregrind, Deathgrind, Powerviolence and even, don’t believe your ears, Jazzcore, or how Art-core defines it. The list was compiled based on my personal preference. It is as subjective as possible, so you shouldn’t be indignant about the fact that “Where are my beloved Brutal Truths?” Or “How could you forget about the Terrorizer?”. I am familiar with these and other unnamed formations, but the size of the top is not unlimited, and I don’t really want to talk about groups about which I have nothing to say. First, 10 just good groups will go, and for dessert I left 3, in my opinion, the best teams. Now let’s get started.

© 2021 Bogdan Marchenko

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