Various Artists


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Grind Crusher is a great sampler of late-'80s thrash metal/death metal/grindcore sides from the pioneering English label Earache. Primarily focused on British and European acts when this collection was released, Earache brought originators like Napalm Death, as well as other standout bands such as Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower, and Entombed to the metal limelight. Along with impressive cuts from these groups, this collection also includes a load of quality material from the obscure likes of Old Lady Drivers, Cadaver, Lawnmower Deth, and Repulsion. As the names evoke both menace and even a bit of camp, so does the music, with Godflesh pummeling the listener with jackhammer percussion and ultra-demonic vocals on "Streetcleaner," and Lawnmower Deth undermining all the gloomy seriousness with their tongue-in-cheek "Satan's Trampoline." The variety continues with stripped-down hardcore from Repulsion, the relatively straightforward Judas Priest-metal-stylings of Hellbastard, and even some industrial dance music from Mighty Force. Jazz experimentalist John Zorn's brief stay on the label is represented by Naked City's eclectic thrash montage, "Osaka Bondage," while equally innovative grindcore is heard on clever, multi-textured offerings by Carcass and Sore Throat -­ Old Lady Drivers deserves special mention here too for the keen sense of grotesque wit that went into a song title like "Colostomy Grab-Bag." Grind Crusher is an intense and galvanizing set, perfect for those curious about the fringe subgenres coming out of the marriage of metal and hardcore punk.

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