When I heard that members of Knut and legendary Swiss tech-grinders Nostromo had formed a new band called Mumakil, I knew I had to hear them. And when their label, Overcome, posted clips on its site that scared the shit out of me every time I visited, I had to track them down. And track them down I did, with probably the most email the label has ever gotten about an upcoming release.

Well, I'm glad I pestered Overcome so much (though they might not feel likewise), as Customized Warfare is a simultaneous kick to the balls and punch to the face (pretty dexterous if you think about it). "Pleasant," you say in disgust, but we metalheads are a masochistic lot. This is raging, no-bullshit grindcore with little of the technicality that characterized Nostromo. 32 songs blaze by in 37 minutes, with no printed lyrics and only Roman numerals for titles.

Beards make for better metal

But this isn't all just "three yards and a cloud of dust" (that's American football, for all you Europeans). Songs go through half-time, double-time, two-step, thrash, and blastbeat grooves, with vocals ranging from high shrieks down to death growls and pig squeals. The smoothness of execution, variety of material, and quality of the recording suggest mid-career Nasum, which is great considering this band is just starting out. You might want to wear a cup (or other protective gear) before hearing these clips.

As with Nostromo, this might be hard to find outside Europe. You can get this at Overcome - and if you don't feel like dealing with French, email the label directly.

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