Unrest: Grindcore

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Unrest: Grindcore
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Unrest: Grindcore
Grindcore
Unspeakable Axe Records
March 24th, 2015
Release length: 26:37
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Unrest‘s debut outing Grindcore has essentially been a myth over the past few years. The group itself did exist, however, and had done a number of shows in and around the Philadelphia area. Originally composed of Steve Jansonn and Chris Grigg over the frustration that there would be no new Nasum songs (according to their Facebook “About Me” page), the duo decided to go ahead and try to keep the legacy alive by creating Grindcore inspired by that legendary beast. Brooks Wilson was incorporated as bassist to help make the dream a reality as well. In 2011, the trio went into the studio and recorded what would be their debut album, but it was never released due to various frustrations Chris had with the recording, all before he abruptly moved to New York City. However, when the band revisited the album in 2014, it was decided that all they had to do was re-record the vocals, which were done in the Summer of 2014, followed by mixing in Winter of that year. Now the recording rests on the shoulders of the mighty Unspeakable Axe Records, who will unleash the mythological creation late March of 2015. But has the wait been worth it, or should it remain tucked away under lock and key forever?

If all but the vocals are the original recording recently mixed, Grindcore doesn’t sound bad at all. The guitars have a decent buzz to them that you would find common to the genre the album’s titled after, the bass is a bit distant but still recognizable when at its most chaotic, and the drums are all pretty crisp with a nice click to the bass kick. While it doesn’t sound like something torn out of the late eighties to early nineties, there is a notable analog trait to the music that really suits the goal of the band. The freshly recorded vocals, which span some growling in place of gang chants to the typical raspy shouting approach, sound great as well, though sometimes can find the music overlapping them a bit. This is ly when they are at their most guttural, such as around the start of “Quit”.

As for reaching the sound of Nasum, Unrest do a good job at trying to carry the torch with the material they recorded for Grindcore. “We’re Calling You Out” introduces this blend of Hardcore attitude with grinding hostility perfectly within the first forty-five introductory seconds, establishing a short but still infectious warning of what is to come. “You Take” pummels the listener with furious blast beats and some bass guitar notes that slip through over the tight guitars, mostly during the held notes and around the minute mark where the guitars take a breather to let it and the kicks of the drum kit stand out momentarily.

“Anything to Shock” wastesd no time in hammering infectious Grindcore based grooves and intense hostility into the listener’s skull. This is one of the more venomous performances on the release thanks to the growling that is really put to work on the latter half of the track, as well as the speed that doesn’t let up until the very end. “Nothing (That’s All You Have to Give)”, however, has a much stronger Punk touch to the foundation, reminiscent of the drum and bass guitar segment that hits during “You Take”, but a little more frequent and driven by two-step beats, and even a breakdown full of authority towards the end that is hard not to at least bob your head along to involuntarily.

“Faith is a Hearse” has a little more going on overall. The first minute establishes a very dark tone that compliments the title well, as if taking the Doom Metal atmosphere and applying it to Grindcore and Hardcore Punk formulas. By ninety seconds in, those latter two worlds merge together, even through what sounds like a brief dash of Death Metal to the mix just past the two minute mark, weaving a well executed mass of pure chaos in its wake. While incredibly different compared to the rest of the material present, it’s actually “Protest Culture” that ends up the most addicting. Tight guitars with a decent amount of technicality over a mixture of furious blast beats and technical patterns really paint an aggressive portrait. The continuous higher pitch shouting is a superb touch as well, rarely pausing for breath to amplify the anger on display before cutting into an infectious two-step filled Punk closing that belts out beefy growls while offering a generally fun climax. It’s the literal music version of fighting with your spouse, only to have make-up sex right after, cut short from the adrenaline you still have.

it’s unfortunate that so much went wrong following the recording of Grindcore, and even more depressing that it took the band a few years before finally setting everything into motion to finally get this album out there. Unrest aren’t a breath of fresh air for the genre this release is named after, but at the same time it was never meant to be. The Nasum influence on display is acknowledged and unapologetic, paying a fitting tribute to a group that helped pioneer the style, and the memory of founding guitarist/bassist/vocalist Mieszko Talareczyk in 2004. The only gripe to really be had is the vocals can sometimes be a bit dwarfed by the music, but even then it’s a minor one at that given the punishing material on display. It’s great to finally see Grindcore with a release date, as well as a suiting label to back it up. Let’s just hope this isn’t the last we’ll hear of Unrest either.

01. We’re Calling You Out – 0:45
02. You Take – 2:01
03. Inaction – 2:26
04. Quit – 2:23
05. Protest Culture – 1:38
06. Faith is a Hearse – 3:03
07. Anything to Shock – 2:11
08. Nothing (That’s All You Have
09. Identity in the Internet Age – 1:55
10. Consumption – 1:43
11. False Brotherhood – 2:40
12. Drown – 3:19
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Unrest
Unrest

Digital review copy of this release provided by Unspeakable Axe Records
via Clawhammer PR.