There’s something about the combination of death/grind and hardcore-style vocals that clicks with me. (I’m thinking of “crazy guy” hardcore vocals, as opposed to the “tough guy” kind.) The traditional growled vocals you usually hear paired with death/grind are theatrical and affected by nature; they require considerable technique and necessarily mask your natural voice. By contrast, punk-style ranting is raw and revealing. Such vocals succeed or fail by sheer intensity. Almost anyone can do it, but not everyone can do it well.

That hardcore-derived intensity can intensify the frenetic feel that so many death/grind bands strive for. Dim Mak, Righteous Pigs, early Burnt by the Sun, and recent Agoraphobic Nosebleed are all excellent case studies. This debut 7” by Fulgora is another.

Fulgora has a powerful pedigree. They have roots in the DC/Baltimore/VA scene that produced Pig Destroyer, Dying Fetus, Misery Index, and the aforementioned ANb, whose Jay Randall is releasing Risen/Artifice digitally on his Grindcore Karaoke (LINK: label. The band’s rhythm section consists of powerhouse Pig Destroyer/Misery Index drummer Adam Jarvis and his cousin John on bass. Guitarist B.L. LeMew’ss gnarled riffs benefit immensely from the Jarvis boys’ synchrony.

Instrumentally, these two songs are triumphs of balance—technical but utilitarian performances, dissonant riffs that you can remember, and a raw recording that retains significant force. LeMew’s vocals—gloriously unhinged, predatory hardcore vocals—push them through the roof. Songs that might register as clinical instead seethe like boiling water. I can only imagine the coating of spittle the vocal booth mic must’ve endured during his recording takes.

Risen/Artifice is an excellent start for Fulgora; hopefully there is more material on the way. Buy it on wax from Cricket Cemetery HERE or download it from Grindcore Karaoke HERE.

— Doug Moore

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