The Great Northern Revisited

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Sayyadina (the name comes from the Dune series of science fiction novels and refers to a low-ranking priestess) are a Swedish grindcore band featuring members and ex-members of other highly regarded underground acts including Birdflesh, General Surgery, and Nasum. The music on this 30-track disc is harsh and stripped-down, keeping the sound of early Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, Cripple Bastards, and other grindcore pioneers alive. The vocals are a breathless, panicked shriek; the guitar has a feedback- and distortion-heavy ripping sound, like sheet metal being sanded; the bass is an ugly throb like a slowly building migraine headache; and the drums are dry and incredibly fast, blasting like a woodpecker whose beak has struck a bag of crystal meth someone's inexplicably wedged into its favorite tree. Many of the songs were originally released on 7" singles, split EPs, and compilations -- only four tracks are brand-new. But given the vicissitudes of underground music distribution, particularly from a group that had no U.S. label prior to this release, the vast majority of this music is likely to be new to most listeners. Of course, it's grindcore, so the sound is already familiar even if the particular tracks aren't. With only one exception, Sayyadina's songs come in well short of the two-minute mark (the epic "Mid Livet Som Insats" runs 2:29). This disc is an exhilarating blast of energy sure to liven up any listener's morning jog.

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