Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Stabwound - Human Boundaries vs. Poppy Seed Grinder - Oppressed Reality

I recently recieved 6 CDs and a DVD from my main brutality supplier Comatose Music, and I thought in my reviewing of them I'd go a little outside the box. So instead of reviewing them one by one I will review two at a time and choose a winner. So without further ado I present our first match-up Sweden's Stabwound with Human Boundaries vs. the Czech Republic's Poppy Seed Grinder with Opressed Reality.

As you can probably tell Andy and I love the Swedish slam scene. One article down you can find a review of Degrade and we picked MP5k for our best demo/EP of 07. Stabwound also hails from Sweden and features the prolific Uffe on vocals. The band is split up now but not before giving us the full length Human Boundaries. This is a well put together but not terribly original slam album. Devourment is the obvious influence of course and the production reminds me of Molesting the Decapitated. The vocals are probably the best part as Uffe hits pretty much the entire range of brutal vocals and we have a guest appearance by Soils of Fate vocalist Henke Crantz. The riffing is pretty much what you expect from slam. I would say it hits a middle ground between "fast slam" like Abysmal Torment and the heavy grooves of Soils of Fate. A few melodic and pinch harmonic flourishes pop up here and there, but they are a distinct minority. Overall a solid album that will please any fan of the genre, especially if you dig vocal variety.

Poppy Seed Grinder is a different sort of animal altogether. They hail from the Czech Republic, a country known mainly for its grindcore scene, and PSG definitely incorporate grind into their songs with some absolutely furious blastbeats on this album. Oppressed Reality is not quite as groovable as Stabwound (although it has their moments), but they make up for it in other ways. The grindy blast sections are utterly brutal and make the slams that much better in contrast. The vocalist is vicious in both his grunts and screams. The riffing over the whole album is also quite varied leading to a rewarding listening experience. It's hard to find comparisons for this album, except maybe a less technical, more brutal Dying Fetus, but rest assured it is very good. Unique and interesting without sacrificing any brutality.

Verdict: Poppy Seed Grinder. Stabwound is great, but Poppy Seed Grinder were too brutal and too intense to deny the victory.

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