Afgrund - The Age of Dumb

Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012

I knew this Swedish hyper-Grind outfit was dangerous when I first heard their split with Relevant Few back in 2007. Their hard-to-find releases since then have unfortunately eluded my grasp, so there was no one more thrilled than myself to learn of their signing with the solid Willowtip. A very fitting home, indeed, as the Pennsylvanian label tends to cater to the most extreme side of the spectrum and, quite frankly, Grindcore doesn’t get more extreme than Afgrund. Inevitable comparisons to Nasum, Gadget, and Rotten Sound will be forthwith and justifiably so, but could someone please tell me how that’s a bad thing? To have one band in a lifetime kick that much rectal padding is something special. How is it anything less than extraordinary that we are allowed four? Obviously this is just how the Swedes do it, and when it comes to Grindcore, Swedes do it better. The Age of Dumb boasts 18 power-packed, full-force, high intensity songs that play like one raging 26-minute anthem. With a band that plays this fast and ferocious, it’s the little things that produce eargasmic heart palpitations. Little things like varying gears of blastbeat speed (“Life and Death of a Broiler”), a slower Hardcore riff thrown in to make the speed speedier (“HAARPY,” “The Carrier”), letting the drums go solo at key points in the song (“Repaint the Truth”) and great use of samples within those key points (“Le Grand Illusion”), a thuggish breakdown capable of causing multiple circle pit fatalities (“An Aggression of Misfortune”), and enough Napalm Death and Terrorizer-worthy riffs for Shane Embury to shake a vegan sausage link at. If my sources are correct, this is also the first Afgrund material to feature English lyrics. Just another added morsel to an already-overflowing plate of Grindy goodness. The lack-of-originality argument is the only thing that keeps this from a perfect score (and I may very well regret that decision later).

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