[schema type=”review” name=”Cripple Bastards – La Fine Cresce Da Dento” description=”Label: Relapse Records” author=”Sarp Esin” pubdate=”2018-11-09″ ]
Grindcore is one of those genres that can be very stale. It’s based on a rather simple premise to begin with; three-chord songs and microsongs are so common to the genre that it is very easy to start phoning it in. Throw in a basic power chord riff, a blast beat and some indecipherable screams – boom, you’re done. However, the quality of grind is enhanced dramatically when it is articulated with other genres: such as death metal. That is what we have here with the latest release of grind stalwarts, Cripple Bastards: La Fine Cresce Da Dento. (Google translate says that means “The End Grows From Inside.”)
Cripple Bastards hail from Italy, the home of Catholicism and good gothic metal. They play what I can only term as “deathgrind”: it’s grindcore mixed in primarily with death and occasionally some other influences. This means hard-hitting riffs, breakneck speed, songs that do not usually reach or exceed the 2 minute mark, lots of blast beats, shrieking (surprisingly decipherable) vocals and an overall sense of urgent panic.
Let me be abundantly clear right here, right now: La Fine Cresce Da Dento is a masterclass in deathgrind. End of.
Firstly, the album has more than just an occasional touch of death metal in it. Indeed, songs like Non Coinvolto, Passi Nel Vuoto have a very pronounced death metal edge to them. Narcolessia Emotiva even features a chaos solo. The blending of influences doesn’t stop with death either; for instance, La Memoria Del Dolore has elements of thrash in its DNA, and Nervi in Guerra is much more punk than grind. All these instances and other small bits in songs serve to add much-welcome variety to the proceedings and ensures that La Fine Cresce Da Dento stays fresh the whole way.
That isn’t to say the album is all genre frills and no grind thrills, far from it. In fact, when Cripple Bastards goes the whole grind, they go all in. Songs like Sguardo Neutro or Ombra Nell’ombra are made of purer aggression and carry all that you expect from a grindcore album. Even the aforementioned Narcolessia Emotiva starts out as a jacked up hardcore punk song (i.e. grindcore) before devolving into full-on death. Special mention goes to Due Meta Un In Errore for being the purest one on here: uncompromising speed and pounding aggression used to its full potential.
Throughout, there are two stumbling points, but they are not major. First off, the microsongs in this album aren’t good. A good microsong has a beginning, middle an end, even in the span of a few seconds. But in the instance of Suicido Assistio, Equilibrio Antisegnio and Quali Sentieri, the songs don’t really go the distance. They feel more like snippets from what would be full songs left short deliberately. The second isn’t objectively a stumble, but a point of contention: Decessi Per Cause Sconosciute seems to have been made from several microsongs stitched together in a rather cohesive manner. It’s start-stop structure and constant shifts and its forward motion in increments create the impression that it was Frankensteined together. However, I will say this: it is still leagues above the usual “eclectic” “tech grind” scattershots.
But that is so minor that they are both very negligible. The long and short of it is, at just under half an hour, La Fine Cresce Da Dento offers a compact but focused and driven experience. Its top-notch songwriting, skilled execution, inspired blend, constant mobility, good flow and well-suited production make for a superb album. Highly recommended. Go and listen to it. Now.
Giulio the Bastard – vocals
Schintu the Wretched – bass
Der Kommissar – guitars
Raphael Saini – drums
Wild Vitto – guitars