VARIOUS ARTISTS - Japanese Assault

Various Artists - Japanese Assault

37 songs
55:25 minutes
***** ****
Relapse / Suburban


Relapse's Assault CDs have already a long standing tradition, and it may only come as a surprise that the series needs a sixth instalment to make us discover four Japanese bands, knowing that it's exactly that country that has produced some of the strongest crust music in the past.

The cover artwork is also typically Japanese, what you would expect from a John Zorn or Naked City album, meaning: bizarre black and white illustrations of BDSM techniques that seem to be really popular in the far east.

First band on the compilation is Senseless Apocalypse who assault us with 14 songs in just under 14 minutes. Sounds chaotic, but isn't really. What you get here is good rocking grind crust, maybe not too original but played very convincingly. And when I am telling you now that this good band is still the weakest on the CD, then you know that you are in for some really cool stuff. Next band is Muga, whose 5 songs nearly average 3 minutes each. They work the well known grind aesthetics, combining rough vocals with a second vocalist who has a more high-pitched voice, but the music itself is not high speed all the time, but has room for a more emotional approach. Third band are Realized, who play again a more traditional kind of grindcore. This means 14 songs that more or less average one minute running time each. This is nothing original, but done with so much conviction that it's a sheer pleasure to listen to it. Finally the album ends with the 4 songs of Swarrrm, a band that isn't really grind to begin with. They have the typical Relapse sound, meaning they specialise in ultra brutal mathy screamo sounds. Nice way to end a four-way split album.

I must say that the Dutch Assault album left me rather disappointed, but the Japanese show that the idea behind this series isn't growing dull yet. A feast for friends of bonecrushing grind and crust.

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