[28 August 2012]
I wasn’t especially excited to be reviewing Results, the debut full-length from Murder Construct, but the grindcore quintet set me to rights in the most ear-shattering and brain-battering fashion possible.
In May this year, the band’s vocalist, Travis Ryan, released Monolith of Inhumanity with his main band Cattle Decapitation. This proved to be one of the best grindcore albums of 2012 so far, and I wasn’t expecting it to be bettered, or equalled. Murder Construct’s line-up contains an array of underground metal veterans. Alongside Ryan are Leon del Muerte from Exhumed and Kevin Fetus from Watch Me Burn on guitars, Caleb Schnider from Bad Acid Trip on bass, and Danny Walker from Intronaut and Exhumed on drums. The band’s pedigree is phenomenal, and its ‘10 self-titled EP was a 20-minute inferno of appropriately injurious grind. Still, call it plain supergroup weariness, but I wasn’t feeling overly enthused.
I’ve never been happier to be proven wrong. Results is a fantastic 30-minute hammering screed of grindcore streaked with technical death metal. The album begins with a whirl of feedback and guttural, bowel-clenching vocals on “Red All Over”, and never once, not for a second, does it reduce its bone-splintering momentum till it reaches the final churn of “Resultados”. (Finishing off with a touch of avant-grind experimentalism.)
Propulsion and aggression are the crucial components to any grindcore album’s success, and Results provides withering doses of both. Drummer Walker, famed for his graduated intricacy as much as his blasting beats, lays into his kit in a belligerent non-stop frenzy. He rides the cymbals and pounds the pedals, transitioning between tempos and realigning the band’s meter from grind to death metal throughout. Fetus and del Muerte pile on the riffs (literally), alternating between blurring and bewildering waves of distortive noise and more isolated, sluggish passages. Although, to keep that firmly in context, ‘sluggish’ in this regard means 900 miles an hour instead of 1000. Schnider’s bass is high enough in the mix to not get lost, providing that extra meaty impetus, and once again Ryan’s vocals play a vital role.
Travis Ryan is one of extreme metal’s best vocalists. For anyone who enjoys vocals gouged from the bottom of a deep and festering pit, or happens to love bombardments of agonised screeches, Ryan is your man. His work on Results contains all the required abrasive tonality to see the album fitting perfectly into the grind canon (or cannon). Unlike on Cattle Decapitation’s last album, there’s no sign of his recent flirtations with more melodic timbres. On Results he’s glass-chewing mad, which combined with del Muerte’s back-up vocals offers some great counterpointing/intersecting moments of pure ferocity.
Tracks such as “Feign Ignorance”, “Mercy, Mercy” and “Compelled by Mediocrity” reveal a nuanced tech-metal nucleus, while “Malicious Guilt” and “Under the Weight of the Wood” are unadulterated blistering grind. With all but the last track hovering around the two-minute mark, things move with whiplash velocity. The production, however, retains plenty of punch and clarity—rising above the muddy mire that so often bogs grindcore down. That crisp, clobbering heaviness, and one whirlwind track after another, sees Results filed alongside Napalm Death’s Utilitarian in the ‘best grindcore’ category for 2012.
Results is an exceptional half hour of contorting, bludgeoning and furious metal. A flawless rendition of all that is breathtaking about grindcore—honestly, this sort of supersonic hostility will suck the oxygen right out of your lungs.