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A chainsaw to the spinal cord - 98%

Mritak, November 14th, 2012

In your mind's eye, take Assück's "Misery Index", coalesce it with Nasum's back catalog, and infuse it all with the bone-crunching production values of a Lock Up album.

What you get is "Remote" by Gadget, a half-hour aural assault that grips you by the throat from the very first track and without relinquishing pummels your face against a concrete wall till the last razor-sharp notes ring out into the void. Just when you least expect it, the band throws in a crushing slow part or a twisted kind-of-a-melody just to fuck with your brain, only to seconds later abruptly speed up into a throat-punching blast section.

The guitars perform sharply and accurately, the drums are well-defined in their sound and technicality, and the vocals are suitably deranged, mostly dwelling in the mid-section but on occasion swooping down to a guttural expression or reaching higher registers for appropriate accentuation.

"Failure", which is the slowest - and at three minutes the longest - song on the album, breaks this speeding freighter of an album for just a moment, affording the listener some breathing space until "Connected" resumes the flailing with nimble alacrity.

As a mature grind orchestra, Gadget have realized the relevance of melodic passages offsetting the grinding bulk of the album. Fret not, however, for there are no traces of Gothenburgian pop sensibilites at play here; the melodies are suitably vague and filthy to accommodate the claustrophobically despodent atmosphere of a pristine grindcore record.

Like a chainsaw through the spinal cord, this album will leave you paralyzed yet still craving for another round. This is the face of modern grindcore.