Welcome to the first installment of Grinding Around the World, a new Decibel series where we hope to uncover some grindcore and powerviolence hidden gems from around the globe. Following this particular sub-genre for the past decade, it never ceases to amaze me how many excellent and unique bands seem to emerge from every corner of our civilization — even Ohio! So, in the name of spreading the love to all our Earth’s blast beat disciples, let’s get right to it with Brazil.
South America’s largest country has been known on the international metal stage primarily for its thrash exports Sepultura, Holocausto and Sarcófago among others. But in the past 15 years or so, Brazil has pretty consistently produced grindcore bands that are brutal, unique and criminally underrated/flat out ignored. In the name of fixing that error, let’s dive right in.
This three piece hails from Sao Paulo and does an incredible job of incorporating the country’s strong thrash tradition into their mix of Grindcore to create something that is both incredibly heavy and catchy. I would recommend this band as much to thrash fans as I would Grind heads and can even see how some of their mosh parts would even appeal to Hardcore kids, especially on their latest album, last year’s Apocalipster. Personally my favorite material the band has produced was on their 2006 three-way split with Noisear and Gate, Crushing the Grindcore Trademark. The song “Genocida Superstar,” in particular, encapsulates the band’s sound perfectly: driving thrash, brutal breakdowns and blistering blast beats.
OK, yes, this band is from Argentina but they are just too good to not put on this list. They are basically South America’s answer to Pig Destroyer: brutal, suffocating death/grind with an air of desperation and bleak darkness. If you are a fan of Priapus or Maruta’s blending of hardcore elements with death metal than you absolutely need to check this band out. They even have one of those spooky slow songs to close out their 2014 demo, El Incendio. My favorite will always be their demo from 2013. The snare sound might be too “pongy” for some but I personally think it adds character and really “ties the room together.”
The most active and experimental band on this list, this Sao Pualo band is gearing up for a split with Nepal’s Chepang later this year (and also a tour with Bandit). I’m not sure I would consider these guys to be grindcore specifically, they are more like a very arty, weird D-beat band who incorporate Black Metal style blast beats. Either way, they are endlessly creative with their songwriting and a resoundingly fun listen. My favorite album of theirs is 2012’s Arabe Macabre, which mixes extreme metal elements with the playful sonic elements of the Melvins early ’90s output.
Ah, the crown jewel of this group and perhaps all international grindcore. In all of my years of seeking out the most brutal and heavy records this sub-genre has to offer, I find that most albums tend to sound softer to the ears after repeated listens and eventually begin to lose their impact. Not this band. Their 2013 magnum opus Pro-Exploraco is just one of those albums that will never NOT be the most insane thing you’ve ever heard. From the purposefully obscured guitar work, the absolutely hellacious dual vocals and perfect use of harsh noise, this album is a masterpiece of severity and intensity. This is the album that inspired me to start writing seriously about this style of music because I felt it was such an incredible work of art that no one was paying attention to. Five years later it makes me very proud to be able to share this band’s music – in the form of The Pain of Being Alive – on this website. Buckle up.