13 More Essential Grindcore Releases From 2022
Okay, so first things first - this is PART TWO of our grindcore roundup. Before anyone comments saying “where’s x or y???”, check out part one of our list first. Got it? This is the SECOND installment of our roundup, part one contains releases from the first half of 2022, these are from the second half.
Now that’s out of the way - welcome back to Invisible Oranges’ grindcore roundup! The first installment of this feature went live in mid-August and proved so popular we’re back with another list. Grind doesn’t always get a ton of coverage from other metal publications, so we’re proud to be shining a spotlight on this somewhat unfairly-maligned genre.
I think a lot of people have this idea in their heads that grind has a narrow and dogmatic scope. But it goes under the radar how much ambition and experimentation, as well singular perspectives and emotional variation, there is to be found within the genre. The latter point will raise some eyebrows. However, releases this year from the likes of Days Of Desolation and Cloud Rat (to name only a few) contain depths of thorny emotions, cutting deep with their uniquely-serrated edges.
Before we move on, it’s worth addressing some omissions from these two roundups. The most obvious absence is probably the latest Misery Index album. This writer, however, judged that they’re a well-known enough band and leaving them out would free up a place for a smaller act. A few people online also mentioned that the first list missed out Trauma Bond’s Winter’s Light. It’s an amazing album and that was a definite mistake on my part.
There’s also plenty more powerviolence albums that could have been included, including those by Peace Test, Compassion, Gets Worse, Livid and Tourist. Perhaps at some point next year we’ll do a feature on that adjacent genre too.
So, without further ado, here are 13 grindcore albums from the latter half of 2022 to introduce to your loved ones this holiday season!
Ground - Habitual Self-Abuse
October 28th, 2022
Though its collage artwork detailing an array of man-made misery harks back to classic covers of Terrorizer and Napalm Death albums, nothing about Ground’s Habitual Self-Abuse feels retro or backwards-looking. This is modern grindcore with hardcore and slam riffs thrown into its mix - respect for genre purity be damned. Highlights like “Couch Potato” and “Tastemaker” are pure genre adrenaline rushes, coursing through the album’s twenty-one minute runtime with cut-throat abandon. Try not to smile when the likes of “Indurated Juvenescene” and “Stand-Up Guy” reach their crushing closing beatdowns.
Vermin Womb - Retaliation
September 2nd, 2022
Closed Casket Activities
The first track on Vermin Womb’s Retaliation is called “Crumbling World Without Joy” and this tells you all you need to know about this beautiful monstrosity of an album. A cacophonous and belligerently-misshapen collection, Retaliation’s twelve tracks walk the unsteady line between feral grindcore and unhinged war metal. Bar the noise interval “Ambulance”, there’s not a moment of respite or second of breathing room across these 18 minutes, just an endless onslaught of opaque guitars and caveman blast beats. Closed Casket Activities have released some savage albums this year, but none match this for pure derangement.
Antigama - Whiteout
July 15th, 2022
Antigama have quietly become elder statesmen of the 21st century grind scene. Whiteout is their eighth full-length album and features eleven confident and intensely-linear tracks that display the Polish band’s total mastery of their craft. There’s not an ounce of flesh on these bones, just needle-sharp production in the shape of machine-gun drums and calculated guitars underneath Łukasz Myszkowski’s Barney Greenway-esque bark. Tracks like “Disasters” and “Hindrance” slow things a little and break up the relentless, BPM-pushing carnage, making Whiteout as well-rounded as it uncompromisingly ferocious.
Thotcrime - D1GIT4L_DR1FT
October 28th, 2022
Featuring members of The Callous Daoboys, Dreamwell and Pupil Slicer, Thotcrime are that rarest of creations - a transatlantic cybergrind supergroup. Recalling the likes of Genghis Tron and iwrestledabearonce but infused with a modern, internet-smart personality, the band’s latest D1GIT4L_DR1FT is an unhinged and explosive collection. “4V3R4G3_TU35D4Y” is Thotcrime at their most pummeling and frantic, while “trust://fall” glistens with sparkling synths and anthemic vocals. The computerized blast beats and midi guitars are just a small part of D1GIT4L_DR1FT’s many idiosyncrasies, adding up to a thrillingly colorful digital fantasia.
Ernia - How to Deal with Life and Fail
July 22nd, 2022
Transcending Obscurity Records
An odd but engrossing album that digs into mathcore, progressive thrash and groove metal beneath its grind foundations, Ernia’s How to Deal with Life and Fail is a surprising and unique creation. The Spanish band’s self-titled 2018 debut only hinted towards the elaborate eccentricities of this 2022 follow-up. Almost every track features a standout moment - the Voivod-esque riffs at the end of “Q”, the groovy introduction to “THE Deer Chaser”, the wide-open textures of closer “Ikigai”. Impressively, it rarely feels random or jarring. A warped sense of internal logic holds the whole thing together and makes How to Deal with Life and Fail a uniquely-compelling oddity.
The Wind in the Trees - Architects of Light
July 15h, 2022
Twelve Gauge Records
A dizzyingly-good album that will have flown under many extreme metal fans’ radar, The Wind in the Trees’ Architects of Light is one of the most underrated metal releases of 2022. These fourteen tracks are as ambitious as they are accomplished, ranging from the apocalyptic scale of “Serpent Bearer” to the head-scrambling technicality of “Thy Flesh Consumed” to the relative approachability of “Prismatic Nebula”. It’s a complete experimental grindcore package from the Baltimore trio - crazed tempos, wild use of effects pedals, hellish screams and surprising emotional weight. Don’t sleep on this album or enormously-exciting band.
Cloud Rat - Threshold
October 7th, 2022
If there’s any grind album on this list that’s transcended the genre, in terms of both its stylistic choices and critical appeal, it’s Cloud Rat’s Threshold. The Michigan trio approach grindcore with a wholly open mind, content to incorporate motifs and textures from crust punk and screamo, as well as those of harsher post-hardcore acts like Circle Takes The Square or early Mewithoutyou. Desolate melodies undercut even the most frantic tracks ( the piercing “Imaging Order” and whirlwind “Porcelain Boat”) while “Kaleidoscope” opens swathes of space and lands an intense gut punch. It’s an essential listen for fans of modern grindcore, all the more so for its uniquely-vivid emotional palette.
Full Of Hell - Aurora Leaking From An Open Wound
October 18th, 2022
Full Of Hell’s tour-released EP Aurora Leaking From An Open Wound takes the prize for most startlingly-vibrant title of any grind release in 2022. Like this title, Full Of Hell are a relentlessly-creative mob, wholly uninterested in abiding by grindcore’s traditions. Despite their status as scene leaders, their approach dissolves the genre’s boundaries, incorporating sludge, noise and eerie post-metal textures. Honestly, Aurora Leaking From An Open Wound is barely grindcore. These three tracks utilize a midtempo swagger as opposed to a frantic headrush, with closing track “Blinding Erasure” and its spooky melodies an especially memorable cut.
Teething - Help
October 21st, 2022
Power It Up, Selfmadegod, Obliteration Records
Strangely, this is the second release on this list from a Spanish grind band. Whether or not the scene there is in rude health or this is just an anomaly, 2022 has produced two Spanish grindcore albums teeming with quirks and weird charisma. Teething’s Help is as demented as the creepy character on its cover art, full of caveman riffs, unhinged vocals and bizarre track tiles like “Asshole Cancer” and “Your Band Sucks”. It’s not quite as singular as the Ernia album, however there’s a sense of evil absurdity to Help that provides both copious thrills and a palpably batshit personality.
Escuela Grind - Memory Theater
September 30th, 2022
The much-hyped sophomore effort from Escuela Grind gets just about everything right. There’s the down-tuned and dirty riffs, the subtle structural sophistication, as well as the band’s open embrace of progressive politics. What makes Memory Theater work more than anything tangible, however, is The New York band’s clear and immediate confidence. Standout tracks like “Cliffhanger” and “All Is Forgiven” move with so much pace and unexpected elegance that they leave you needing a moment to catch your breath. Vocalist Katerina Economou puts in an almighty shift, unleashing an in-your-face growl of fearsome range. This is indisputably one of the standout grind albums of the year.
World Peace/Blame God - Split
June 24th, 2022
Twelve Gauge Records
It seems an odd thing to say about a release that’s just seven minutes in length, but this split might be the best work both its creators have ever put out. World Peace’s 2021 full-length Come And See is something of a sleeper hit, but their two-minute long contribution to this split EP matches it for memorable and charismatic bursts of intense powerviolence. Blame God’s three tracks are a touch more expansive, with “False Imprisonment” reaching a comparably-decadent one minute and fifty-five seconds. Their sharp riffs and relatively-more intricate song structures are a nice counterpoint to its flipside and make this EP (released by the reliably-great Twelve Gauge Records) one of the finest splits to come out of the genre in some time.
Human Corpse Abuse - Xenoviscerium
December 7th, 2022
Dark Descent Records
We’ve reached the most corporeal and grotesque corner of our journey through 2022’s grindcore landscape. Human Corpse Abuse’s Xenoviscerium is truly horrific, a goregrind vortex that will test the limits of even the most ardent extreme metal fan. The vocals alternate between gargled gutturals and demonic screams, the guitars are murky and oblique, the drums loose and cacophonous. However, if you can tune into its demented wavelength, there’s a perverse sense of artistry to be uncovered within the fleshy folds of Xenoviscerium. From the macabre artwork to the ornate track titles, which include “Spinefucker” and “Convulsing Labyrinth of Flesh”, the album has an undeniable vision, which it executes in the most outrageous manner.
The Sawtooth Grin - Good.
October 31st, 2022
Good. is the most objectively ‘math’ of the albums in this list, but we’re including it anyway because it’s too, well, good to not be featured. Providence’s The Sawtooth Grin were only in action for five years around the turn of the millennium and Good. marks their first release of new music in 21 years. Impressively, it’s heavier, more complex, better-produced and just all-round better than their sole full-length, 2022’s Cuddlemonster. Similar to its cover, these nine tracks are an eruption of colorful carnage, pushing the BPM’s on rapid-fire tracks like “Bedtime” and dazzling with manic technicality on “The Shining Wire”. A very-welcome surprise return.