Marginal Keep the Crust-Grind Flame Burning

Most members of Belguim’s Marginal were only teenagers in the late 80s when bands like Extreme Noise Terror and Napalm Death were pioneering grind. Even so, their upcoming third album, Total Destruction sounds as though it absolutely could have come out of the midlands in twenty seven years ago. Submitted as evidence: their new song, “Leech Invader.”

Musically and lyrically “Leech Invader” does not break new ground. It’s one more song about addiction in a genre full of them. It works because Marginal know how to execute the classic elements of crust so well. A D-beat powers the song with reliable rumble and pound, blasts enter for added spice when necessary. The solo burns up during a quick re-entry, introduces just enough melody to cause a scene then disintegrates on impact. The whole ordeal leaves a crater after about two minutes flat, perfect.

Marginal execute the sound so well by adopting a no-frills approach to recording. “We don’t think too much and we know what we want to hear. Everything is very raw and direct,” says guitarist Martin. “There’s no drum editing, no click track and the songs are mostly the first or second take. That’s the way it used to be in the 80’s.”

Total Destruction will be Marginal’s third record in five years when it is released by Transcending Obscurity on December 15th. In many ways it’s their most primitive effort. They banged the record out in the course of a single weekend, and tried to be as spontaneous as possible. Martin explains: “We really made the songs happen in the studio, we had some demos, rehearsal phone recordings, etc. here and there, and a week before recording we got together and chose the songs that we thought were the best. Then went to the studio and started to learn them on the spot. Our drummer actually didn’t know any song beforehand. Our music is pretty simple and direct. We just listened to the demo, jammed a bit and when we thought it was good enough we would record it.”

Though Marginal delivered Total Destruction off-the-cuff, it is the tightest and best-sounding of their records. The band delivers a tight performance even with unrefined drum tracks, commensurate with years of experience. Martin played in veteran Argentinian thrash act Jesus Martyr from 1994 to 2007. Three of his bandmates formed old school death metal act Suhrim while they were teenagers in 1989 while they were still seeing their heroes play in local pubs. Now they’ve had a chance to play with those heroes: Marginal has opened for Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, Brujeria, Doom and Brutal Truth.

Given all that, Decibel readers who have ordered this year’s special Napalm Death issue but still find themselves craving the taste of Scum would do well to keep an eye on these authentic Antwerp crusties.