Various Artists - Da Grind Split-CD

22 songs
44:10 minutes
***** ***
Dead Cirkus

A major problem with the grindcore genre is that full length albums run the risk of becoming boring after a certain amount of time, or they are just very short. That's why split-CDs are a good alternative for such bands. Four French noisemongers share the space on this refreshingly good album.

It all starts with Disaster, who have chosen a name that's shared probably by half a dozen other metal bands, but apart from that, they are the highlight on this split-album. Apart from rather derivative vocals, you get technical grindcore that knows no speed limit. With a tight production and a sense for straight in your face song writing, Disaster are one of the best grindcore bands I have heard in a long time. Their rendition of Brutal Truth's Birth Of Ignorance is superb, to say the least.

Elysium sing in French, but with that genre, it could be Mongolian for all I know. Unfortunately their production is rather thin, thus disguising their original take on a more screamo side of core. Two vocalists bark as if there is no tomorrow, while the instruments create a hysteric backdrop of chaos. This would be amazing with a better production.

Sickbag's songs are all about three minutes long, therefore it's not surprising that their songs adopt a more traditional thrash metal direction. The production, although a bit muddy, has at least some punch and helps the band's four songs to develop this cool old school thrash death grind feeling.

Desecrator suffer again from a weak production, but their short grind bombs have this certain something, reminding of the very beginnings of the genre, as if early Napalm Death and ENT embraced the American school of Born Against and Rorschach. Even the production could be from that long past era.

In the end, the French label Dead Cirkus Records show that it is still possible to assemble four grind core bands that not only show a lot of potential, but even portray different angles of a genre that so many people think sounds always alike. With an overall better production (Disaster are fine though), this would have been the grindcore highlight of the year. It is still highly recommended for noise fanatics who want to discover a part of the French scene.

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