The Best Grindcore Album - Metal Storm Awards 2018

"Second coming of Nasum?" someone opined on this album. Well, Axis Of Despair are Swedes, and they do play one hell of a brand of grindcore, that's guaranteed - though I still wouldn't make this kind of parallel comparison. Contempt For Man might not be the most extreme and diverse grindcore release, but this debut from experienced Swedish blast masters expresses a fair amount of ferocity through an onslaught of shredding guitars and possesses a strong uproar of enraged vocals on top of it.

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Most of the time grindcore is closer to either death metal or black metal, so it's quite a surprise to hear it so close to black metal. Perfectly keeping the balance between tightly constructed blackened death and absolutely insane noisy grind, Alterity is 20 minutes of utter monstrously crushing music, that's always at the risk of eating the listener alive. Never has black metal sounded so completely vitriolic. Never has grindcore sounded so icy.

Mammoth Grinder reformed in 2017 after a four-year hiatus with the intent of grinding us all into sausage with a new album. Mission Accomplished. Their latest is 11 tracks and 28 minutes of Wham, Slam "Fuck You!" Jams. So don your Rotting Robes, enter the Cosmic Crypt and go out in a Blazing Burst. Skip checking this out to just click your fave in show, well, that's your Divine Loss.

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Terrorizer, once upon a time, was one of the great titans of grindcore. Nearly 30 years after their genre-defining classic World Downfall, after a drawn-out period of both inactivity and lukewarm comebacks, Terrorizer is clawing its way right back to the front or our minds, thanks to the tight, brutal performances and sharp, deathlike songwriting on Caustic Attack. Pete the Feet is energized and ready to maul, and with a pair of Monstrosity members newly initiated into the trio, you're going to get out of Caustic Attack precisely the furious onslaught that the cover depicts.

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A lot more goes into grindcore than you might think - at least, if it's coming from Wake. This Chicago quartet is built on a solid frame of death metal and hardcore that vies for dominance throughout Misery Rites, giving us a more varied album than you'll typically find in this category. Those vocals span a lot of genres, too - sometimes we're hearing hardcore screams, sometimes grindy grunts; sometimes it's Corpsegrinder, sometimes it's Randy Blythe. Misery Rites finds Wake rawer and more metallic than their last album, tearing through whatever genre is necessary to give us a dissonant and brutal sound.

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