How’s it hanging, my fellow metal geeks? Here I am once more reporting from the depths of the musical underworld at the MCP Apache venue in Fontaine-l’Evêque. On the menu last Friday night: European grindcore. Oh goodie! If you know me a little, you are aware that the genre is right up my alley. So I greased up my metal mobile, picked up a few friends on the way, and drove to one of Charleroi’s busiest metal venues for an evening of auditory violence.
When I got there the venue had filled up nicely. There could have been a few more people, but all in all not a poor turn up. I greeted my friends already present at the gig, grabbed a drink and got myself a nice spot near the stage. I got wind that Human Waste (DE) unfortunately had to cancel their performance due to their frontman suffering an injury at work. That’s okay, because I was more than content with the bands that did play. First up were…
Hybrid Viscery (***1/2)
These locals from Charleroi gave one hell of an opening performance, playing groovy grindcore with some slammy edges. Standing out here were the vocals. Frontman Romu has a really extensive vocal range, alternating those deep gutturals that make you check your plumbing, and shrill shrieks that will have you scanning the skies for eagles trying to grab you to feed their nestlings. I only have one eensy-weensy remark: don’t cup the mic so much. It can bring the volume of your vocals out of balance and make some parts sound weaker than others. Plus, think of the sound techie who has to run around incessantly just to guarantee an even vocal sound, and who is desperately trying to get rid of that awful feedback when you move your mic by a mere two centimeters. This is the underground, man. Don’t make it harder than it already is. The weaker part however were the kicks. Now the drums weren’t bad at all, far from it. But when you play this kind of music, you gotta make sure those feet can keep up. Maybe their drummer was just having an off day, who knows. I definitely want to hear more from Hybrid Viscery. I’m sure there’s a lot of potential.
FFO: Rectal Smegma, Death Vomit, Crepitation…
Scratch Bulb (****)
Scratch Bulb from Lille, France, are genius. I simply loved this concert. They play that mix of grindcore and sludge that I find more appealing to the scene now than I ever did. Although their music clearly falls under that category, you could say they try to defy expectations. A bit of a exaggeration since grindcore already pushes musical boundaries. Their rather extensive track length and their overall unexpected technicality completely caught me off guard. A few times I found myself thinking in wonder “wow, this song still isn’t over”. If you like your grindcore a little smarter than the usual ten-second songs, this is the band for you.
FFO: Soilent Green, Bleed the Pigs, or if you wanna go old school Mistress,…
The Germans from TFB, or Task Force Beer if you prefer, know how to throw a party. This is plain old beer-themed crusty grindcore fun. Before starting off the show they handed out an entire crate of some cheap golden brew they brought along to the more enthusiastic attendees that crowded the front. Then carnage began. TFB brings you alcoholism, German chanting, and comedic samples galore, which means you can’t take this type of music too seriously. However the musicians behind it were outstanding: bass and guitars on grinding duty, drums full on blasting, and vocals roaring. Their sound is so heavy it enveloped the entire venue. Man, just when I thought the last band was excellent, these guys show up and blow my mind. Not only was the music great but the overall atmosphere as well. Both vocalists and the rest of the band interacted well with the crowd by joking, cheering and toasting with them. Although the venue wasn’t full, there were still plenty of fans moshing and pitting. Some even climbed the stage to grab another beer from the band or toast with them. One hell of a performance, if you ask me.
FFO: Gutalax, Anal Cunt, Guinea Pig,…
The night was clearly destined to move in an upwards spiral with Teethgrinder. These Dutch crazies are angry. At once I knew we were in deep shit. Before their soundcheck I noticed the vocalist was “warming” up (more like boosting his rage levels) by nervously pacing up and down near the stage. This was confirmed when, throughout the show, he started ramming the mic against his skull up to a point where he literally started bleeding. And the guy never stopped. The drummer too turned up the insanity factor simply by letting out furious barbaric yells from behind his drum set right after the intro, his screams surpassing the fading, yet still loud cymbal crashes. The band went berserk immediately after that and the crowd followed suit. Plenty of headbanging, moshing and violent dancing to go around.
Vocals: I was amazed his insides did not become his outsides.
Guitar: how do his strings not snap grinding like that? He didn’t even once switch guitars.
Bass: there must be distortion on that distortion.
Drums: toms and cymbals were beaten to mush equally
Extra points for blood!
FFO: Rotten Sound, Gadget, Wormrot,…
I’m adding their last release for you to enjoy. It’s been out since 2016, but it’s more than worth your time.
Yet another Friday night well spent, by getting my ass kicked by all these great bands. Check them out and be sure to show them your usual support.