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Mental health is a fragile thing. One minute, birds are chirping and the sun is beaming. But that sunshine can quickly turn to despair, emptiness and aggression. Some people turn to pharmaceuticals, crime, or suicide, but fortunately, the members of Grime chose instead to channel their suffering into music, and if you are a fan of sludgy howling insanity, then their new album Deteriorate may cure what ails you.

The band, from Trieste, Italy, previously released a self-titled debut, and the improvements here are plentiful and good. Their foundation is based on early Eyehategod, Floor, and others of that genre, but they manage to make their music unique enough to keep them from being boring. Having the album mixed and mastered by Billy Anderson certainly adds punch and clarity that their previous effort lacked.

"Burning Down the Cross" starts the proceedings off with a sample of speech about the Antichrist, and the scraping, warped sound of the band kicks in. Bottom heavy, thick, and heaving, the first few songs have the crushing power one would expect from a band like this, but with some new improvements. The use of start/stop rhythms bleeding into a wall of despair on "Pouring out the Hatred" is but one example of the band pushing, seeking their ultimate catharsis. It all comes together on "Giving Up", keenly utilizing a sample that effectively blends with the song, as the drums take on a tribal beat and an absolutely punishing riff that nods to early Crowbar.

Grime is most certainly good at what they do. The samples that covered their previous release have been scaled back, and their attention to song structure and movement has paid off. The artwork is equally impressive; once you see the little green goblin it's hard not to smile, but it provides great comic relief from the rest of the twisted imagery. This album is a great example of capturing, channeling, and expelling negativity and hatred. If you aren't already a fan of the genre, they probably won't win you over, but overall Grime and Deteriorate are highly recommended for fans of well done sludge.

Pick up your prescription for Deteriorate from Forcefield Records.

— Doc Schmahl

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