By Georgi Bomb
No, in fact grindcore Oslo band, Beaten to Death, have produced the exact opposite on their debut album, Xes and Strokes.
From melodic, almost soothing grooves to repenting, teeth smashing ferocity; this album has it all.
Structured yet without seeming to have any structure, this masterpiece is 19 minutes of intense noise.
The distorted bass line that makes up the intro to lead track, Winston Churchill sucks you in ten-fold, as Anders Bakke’s insane screams blast through to the front, taking no prisoners along the way and in places, almost sounding like a cat dying a horrible death; it’s impossible to turn off and highly impressive.
Xes and Strokes manages to be grind core without fitting into that one genre; it’s hardcore, it’s death metal and it’s all the other genres ending in ‘core’.
It’s hard to define each track which is a meddly of gut-wrenching noise, soft, subdued melodies and delicious hooks with a few minor break downs that separate the complete carnage which make up this debut.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t so chaotic it’s messy, it is far from messy, continue to think structure without structure; an stand alone album and needs to be heard.
Xes and Strokes was recorded in one weekend, that raw and energetic feel is evident and there is some fantastic production considering the time constraints.
Christian Svendsen’s drumming is enough to make the listener salivate, if what you’re into is ultrafast and stupendously accurate speed. This album is pure evil and covers enough mood swings to rival any teenager on heat!
Aside Winston Churchill as a strong song on the album, A Soulless Arm seems to have all the qualities of the band condensed into two minutes and 43 seconds. Melody and groove, enraged vocals , breakdowns to really sink into and plenty of energy but then, halfway through, there is a total change of mood which only adds to the overall intensity.
Towards the end of the album, it grows murky and dark in tone; more distortion, more growls and definitely more disturbing.
One can only imagine what a full live show would entail – broken skulls, bloody noses and a mightily aggressive performance, we hope anyway.
Unfortunately there are no UK dates just yet but keep an eye on the B2D website for more info.
Purchase Xes and Strokes by Beaten to Death at Nordisk Institutt for Gas & And