It’s hard to argue with a record that has a title that tells you everything you need to know about the music before you even experience it. Like, the first time your virgin ears ever encountered Venom’s “Black Metal,” didn’t you already have a pretty good idea of what was contained on said album?
In that same line of thinking, the debut from Unrest also tells you right away what you anticipate when you take on the music. “Grindcore” might not seem to be the most creative of titles, but damn it if it doesn’t work. That’s exactly what the record contains: grindcore. It’s as honest as you can get when it comes to titling your art, and the bashing you’ll experience on this 26-minute, 12-track album will leave you feeling battered, bloodied, and bruised. This is nuts-and-bolts grindcore, without any weird flourishes, odd colors, or additives. It’s lean, menacing, and should scratch every one of your itches for pure, unadulterated violence.
As for the characters who make up Unrest, they’ll be familiar to you, and we’ve covered every one of them before on this site. On drum and vocals is Chris Grigg, who also fronts the awesome black metal force Woe and plays in Infiltrator. On guitars and vocals is Steve Jansson, who is a member of tremendous trad doom band Crypt Sermon as well as the aforementioned Infiltrator and Trenchrot. Rounding out the trio is bassist Brooks Wilson, who is Crypt Sermon’s vocalist and also plays with Trenchrot. So there you have it: a strong lineup of players who have proved their power elsewhere and are now unloading the fury on you with this killer union.
The record tears open with “We’re Calling You Out,” a song that sounds just like its title, with the guys blowing down your doors and massacring you with a crazed pace, throat-mangling growls, and pure punishment. Then it’s on to “You Take,” with its thrashy assault, shrieked vocals, and vicious riffs that chug along at a dangerous pace. “Inaction” is a masher from the start, with Jannson and Grigg trading off vocals lines and sounding downright accusatory. The band lights shit on fire here, finding yet another level of madness and completely bulldozing everything in their way. “Quit” has gurgly, death-style vocals, break-neck speed, and more lightning-fast guitars that could jar your neck and make your face bleed. “Protest Culture” is a short blast, coming at you with arms swinging in windmill fashion, leaving you no place to avoid the attack. “Faith Is a Hearse” opens with a doomier setting, as the guitars bleed a little slower, but then it kicks up dust and goes full throttle, trying to take you out in one death shot.
“Anything to Shock” is a ripper from the beginning, with raspy growls, guitars that actually allow some melody into the room, and a spectacular and meaty groove that drives the song to its conclusion. “Nothing (That’s All You Have to Give)” sounds like an insult from the start, and they pay that off with crunchy thrashing, vocals wailed over a thick and ominous bassline, and then some tremendous charging when it hits the home stretch. Awesome cut. “Identity in the Internet Age” burns wildly, with a punk rock feel to the verses, catchy carnage along the way, and guitars that light up and blind you with its flames as it speeds up to ridiculous rates. “Consumption” is another thrashy one that shakes up your insides and could force the contents of your stomach onto the floor. “False Brotherhood” has a nice dose of black metal-style riffing, more vocal interplay, and a catchy, hammering ending. Closer “Drown” is the longest cut at 3:13, and it has some pretty interesting guitar work, different textures, but still gruff, mangling playing that provides the final blasts in this total grind barrage.
Unrest are grindcore. There’s no more concise way to say that, and their aptly titled debut record should fill up your insides with devastating goodness. This is a flattening, totally fulfilling serving that will leave your body bruised, your thirst for bloodshed completely satisfied, and your hearing permanently compromised. What more do you need to know than that?
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/unrestgrind
To buy the album, go here: http://www.unspeakableaxerecords.com/purchase/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.unspeakableaxerecords.com/