Blast Worship: The Top 50 Grind/Powerviolence Albums of 2010-2019: Part 3

Welcome back to our countdown of The Top 50 Grindcore/Powerviolence Releases of the Past Decade! You can catch up on parts one and two. This week we tackle entries 30 through 21. Let’s get into it:

Derailed (2014)
The first of three (yes, three) grindcore duos to appear in this installment of the Top 50 list, it’s really impossible to imagine that two dudes from Fresno could create a cacophony as overwhelming as this. This past decade saw the emergence of a sound native to central and northern California that relied heavily on detuned guitars, bowel-churning vocals and abrasive crust punk elements and throughout it all Fiend were the best practitioners of this regional sound. But don’t worry, the riffs are there too, all the way from the crusty muscles of “Horrendous Ego” to the fuck-you kick-in-the-pants of “Display of Insecurity.” Favorite Track: “Display of Insecurity”

Chainsaw To the Face
Chainsaw To the Face (2010)
One of the most underrated powerviolence bands of the past fifteen years, Chainsaw To The Face somehow managed to fly under a lot of people’s radars despite their brilliance. 2010’s self-titled EP finds them at the peak, alternating seamlessly between the manic, arrhythmic blast patterns of drummer Ben Wood and bouncy, bass-heavy grooves all concocted with a production quality whose rougher edges actually enhance the heaviness of the music rather than detract from it. Rest in power to a band gone but not forgotten. Favorite Track: “Victimized”

Antichrist Demoncore (2014)
Though primarily known for their long and extensive line of band merchandise, Los Angeles’ ACxDC stopped printing fanny packs for just long enough to lay down the law with one of the best powerviolence albums of the decade back in 2014. Antichrist Demoncore features insane punk blast spasms augmented with some of the most thuggish breakdowns this side of New Jersey all channeled through vocalist Sergio Amalfitano’s incredible shriek and politically-charged lyrics. Break the faith, indeed. Favorite track: “Filicide”

External Habitation (2010)
Unquestionably the harshest sounding album on this list, if not ever, 2010’s External Habitation stands in rarified air as having some of the most absolute ear-shattering production quality ever created. Seriously, this is the one album that requires the listener top lower the volume on whatever their device is before they play it. It also doesn’t hurt that the band conjures their own brand of Insect Warfare-inspired mayhem to drive up the brutality to an almost unbearable froth. Handle this one with extreme caution. Favorite track: “Devolved Through Dependency”

Mother Brain
Straight To Business (2012)
Another unheralded gem, this EP proves that if you get a bunch of dudes from Long Island together, lock ‘em in a room with Kevin Bernsten and throw ‘em a couple of HM-2 pedals, you will in fact get some grindcore magic. Formed from the ashes of slam metal stalwarts The Partisan Turbine, Mother Brain always displayed a fresh embrace of grindcore’s more punk-leaning tenets while still displaying the virtuosity and precision from those years spent in the technical metal trenches. “Straight To Business” is a masterful mix of the chaos and insanity grind can provide with just a hint of songwriting to augment the maelstrom. Also, there’s a song about circumcision. Favorite Track: “Cut or Uncut”

Needful Things
Split with Compulsion To Kill (2014)
Yes, I’m including splits on this list simply because sometimes shorter works better with this type of music. Despite being a mere five minutes and fourteen seconds and containing only four songs within that timespan, Needful Things do all the things they NEED to do, mainly blast your fucking faceoff with their ferocious brand of euro-grind. For my money there is no more savage opening to a song than the opening ten seconds of “Am I Forced?”, with guitar riffs being exchanged for pure sheets of unintelligible noise and a singer who sounds like he’s being eaten alive be bees. BUZZZZZZ. Favorite Track: “Am I Forced?”

Meth Leppard
Split with Minimum Wage Assassins (2018)
The second split and second twosome to appear in this installment, no one really tackled the concept of songwriting in 2018 quite like this Australian duo. All five songs here feel dynamic and fully realized and are delivered with both an unbelievable precision and sense of irreverence that the land down under is quickly becoming known for. I wouldn’t often describe grindcore music as “fun” but this record is just that. Favorite Track: “Krokodil Dundee”

Full of Hell & Merzbow
Full of Hell & Merzbow (2014)
One of the most influential metal bands of the past decade (just accept it, gatekeepers), Maryland’s Full of Hell have traversed a variety of genres across their discography, starting off as a hardcore band with a penchant for noise and evolving to the death metal titans they are today. Somewhere along the way they decided to drop this album, a 2014 collaboration with Japanese noise artist Merzbow, that surprisingly serves as the closest thing they ever came to a pure grindcore release. The one knock against this album is that it doesn’t really feature much Merzbow, which could be disappointing to fans of harsh noise (if they even exist), but as a grind enthusiast the songs on display here are nothing short of stellar. Stabbing, neon-blue dystopian guitar chords paired with drummer David Bland’s hellacious blasts create a symphony of harshness with few parallels. Favorite Track: “Gordian Knot”

Hype Comes & Goes (2016)
Album opener “Trop de Bruit” really sets the tone for what this furious EP from these French grinders is all about, beginning with an opening salvo of punk-laced precision giving way to an unbelievably vicious breakdown, it’s incredible to imagine that yet again a mere two people can make such a god damn racket! Hype Comes & Goes is full of twists, turns and ADD-driven song writing that fluctuates between velocity and nu metal bounces. This is one of the rare grindcore records that’s got something for everybody. Favorite Track: “Trop De Bruit”

Death Toll 80K
Harsh Realities (2011)
Pretty much the premiere tried-and-true European grindcore band of the past decade, Death Toll 80K unleashed an absolute masterclass of riff-worship back in 2011. Circle pit riffs, punk parts, two steps, blast beats, more blast beats, it’s all fucking here and channeled with such precision and excellence that it’s almost depressing that few other bands could even broach such standards. Songs like “No Escape” and “Empty Pose” are bound to go down as some of this decades classic grindcore songs and the album as a whole has pretty much cemented itself as part of the essential listening for anyone getting into the genre. There are many diverse opinions in this particular realm of music, but you simply are not allowed to dislike this album. Favorite Track: “No Escape”