Critics of grindcore music have long pointed out how inherently limited the paradigm of the subgenre is: what room is there for any type of creative expression when everything must be unbelievably fast and relentlessly brutal? Indeed, practitioners of this music have struggled with that very question since its inception over thirty years ago and it seems that only the most elite of groups are able to transcend genre orthodoxy (while not betraying its ethos) and create something unique, original and new.
In recent years both Brazil’s Test and Chepang, a group from Brooklyn-by-way-of-Nepal, have been able to carve out their own swath in this most extreme subgenre and truly do something new with it. It should come as no surprise to anyone that these two groups have partnered for a split EP out now on Cricket Cemetary Records.
After a few listens, I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever heard these bands be themselves more than they appear on this album. A level of artistry and esoterism is present on each of the album’s four songs, which appear to be all connected by the motif of tribal drum beats utilized as a nod to both groups’ original countries of origin. Between and throughout there is angular guitar playing and almost Melvins-esque song structure that consistently leaves the listener pleasantly surprised.
Any and all fans of grindcore should board the hype train now, as should anyone who loves experimental and challenging music of any stripe.
Buy it here.