So we’re halfway through 2023; that means it’s time for another grind roundup! Ignore the summer and any sun-kissed good vibes—We’re looking exclusively at lean, mean, and ugly new grindcore releases.
Once again, we’ve picked out the cream of the crop from the last few months in the genre. There’s a lot of grind out there and, like all genres, some of it isn’t great. With grind, the low-quality stuff is often immensely eyeball-rolling. I can tell you I’ve spent far too long digging through Bandcamp pages strewn with acts called things like Resin Scraper and Unholy Semen. It needs to be reiterated—99% of goregrind is terrible, and the world has progressed beyond the need for 100% of pornogrind.
So, without further introduction, here’s our roundup of grind releases that show off everything the genre is capable of—visceral thrills, pointed insight, and fearsome artistry. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Bandit – Siege of Self
April 20, 2023
Gurkha Commando Blast Team
Bandit are your new favorite grind band. The Philadelphia-based trio play meaty, downtuned grindcore in the vein of Pig Destroyer and put on what looks like an immensely-fun live show. Their third full-length Siege of Self hits all of the genre’s sweet spots–It’s inventive (the phaser-laden riffs of “United in Torment”), technical (the wild solo that closes “Juanita”), and monstrously-groovy (that opening to “Butterfly Knife” could bulldoze walls). This riotous collection is full of quirks and individuality and cements Bandit’s place as one of America’s most interesting modern grind acts.
Suffering Quota – Collide
May 26, 2023
A cool quirk of grind is that it has a distinctly global reach. Some of the best albums in the genre this year have been by bands based in Finland (Rotten Sound’s masterful Apocalypse) and Thailand (Speech Odd’s eccentric Odd World). We can now add to that list the Netherlands, the homeland of Suffering Quota. Their latest album, Collide, is a brilliant work of craftsmanship. Pared down to its bare essentials (even the titles are all just single words), Collide is ruthlessly linear, hurtling to its conclusion (the monolithic closer “Scorn”) with terrifyingly sharp focus. An incendiary collection, it ends with a sample of a raging inferno, as if it has literally combusted.
Cattle Decapitation – Terrasite
May 12, 2023
Metal Blade Records
We couldn’t leave this one out. Yes, Terrasite isn’t quite as jaw-droppingly unique as the band’s previous benchmarks. Cattle Decapitation are suffering slightly from having set their own bar too high, meaning they get judged by some immensely shigh standards. Nonetheless, Terrasite is a virtuoso collection of deathgrind that makes all other grind acts look unambitious and sluggish. Its 10 tracks are gigantic, swaggering creations packed full of intricate riffs, atmospheric flourishes and ecological-minded misanthropy. Ignore the terrible cover art; this is grind at its most expansive and accomplished.
Teeth – A Biblical Worship of Violence
May 5, 2023
Nuclear Blast Records
The second successive release on our list to feature a track called “We Eat Our Wrong,” Teeth’s A Biblical Worship of Violence is a crushing EP of mathcore-leaning grind that transcends its genre limitations. These five-tracks are an unrelenting nightmare, fuelled by intuitive structuring, tight instrumentation, deranged vocals, and a guitar tone that could serrate glass. The bending of genre rules may turn away grind purists (check out the frankly-ridiculous breakdown that closes out “EyesHornsMouth”); however, everyone else can bask in the glory of Teeth’s stellar debut for global powerhouse Nuclear Blast Records.
Pilau – Pressure
May 12, 2023
Is it grind? Powerviolence? Hardcore? Who cares! Pilau’s Pressure is as much fun as you’ll have with a grind release this year. Across six tracks and seven minutes, the D.C.-based mob (who feature ex-members of grind royalty Magrudergrind and Enemy Soil) draw their name not from the type of rice, but from the Hawaiian slang word for something that’s dirty or filthy. It’s a perfect encapsulation of the band’s grimy, feral sound—best displayed on 48-second rager “Ultimate Demise.” Pilau are no troglodytes, though, as Pressure’s sharply-arranged closer “Desultory” proves. They ooze confidence and flair, which is caked into the crevices of all the ugly, squalid grind goodness.
Cryptic Void – Physwar//Psywar
May 29, 2023
After a couple of diversions to grind’s outer reaches, we’re back on firm genre footing with Cryptic Void’s Physwar//Psywar. Another act to feature ex-members of a canonical grind band (Insect Warfare), Physwar//Psywar revels in genre staples like sub-30-second track lengths, macabre collage artwork, and eerie samples that lend an air of atmospheric menace to the whirlwind thrills. The only shift from familiarity is the death metal vocals, which are put to nasty, hallowed use across these 13 ragers. It’s tough to choose one highlight; however, the 26-second “Total War” takes some beating in terms of pure grind carnage.
Elder Devil – Everything Worth Loving
June 16, 2023
An ugly, hallowed, sludge-inflected ripper of an album, Everything Worth Loving is pain incarnate. Informed by the death of lead vocalist Stephen Muir’s mother, these 13 cuts are a relentless howl into the void, as surmised by the title track’s brutal cry, “Why do we love and why does that love leave?” The sludge/grind fusion combines with impressive elegance, shifting between these differing styles (defined by distinctly oppositional tempos) on effortless songs like ”After Flesh” and the titanic title track. An air of murky distortion clouds the whole release, mirroring the empty numbness of its lyrical perspective. Punishing stuff.
Slugcrust / Swamp – Bind
April 21, 2023
Terminus Hate City
No grind roundup would be complete with the inclusion of a split EP. South Carolina’s Slugcrust open Bind with three tracks of feral mania that shift between intense grind, raw death metal and war metal cacophony. The insane buzzsaw guitar tone is worth the price of entry alone. Swamp’s two tracks are less straightforward grind (the band refer to themselves as “death sludge”); however, the primitive blasts of “Monochrome Dusk” and vicious vocals of “Galvanized” blur boundaries and will impress grind heads with their subtly-intricate savagery. A killer split rife with gnarly variety.
The Arson Project – God Bless
June 18, 2023
We end our roundup with a quick sojourn to Sweden. The country has a grand history of crust punk with some of the genre’s best bands hailing from the land of ABBA and Ikea—Disfear, Anti Cimex, Skitsystem, etc. The Arson Project infuse this style with some expert grind sections, in service of thrillingly energetic and gloriously heavy goodness. These 10 tracks are pared-down to their essentials—visceral heaviness, lyrical anger, and a distinctly-grind album cover. Fans of acts like Nails and His Hero Is Gone, who fuse grind to hardcore with ferocious élan, will find much to love here.