THE DAILY GRIND: Decibel’s Editor Reveals His Favorite Speaker-Searing Records From Pig Destroyer, Brutal Truth & Repulsion

Brutal Truth: Making sandals look extreme since 1990.
Brutal Truth: Making sandals look extreme since 1990.

No matter how ‘true’ all of you are, we’re willing to bet that most self-titled readers don’t know the first thing about the frenzied full-lengths of Pig Destroyer, Repulsion and Brutal Truth. Maybe that one record Pitchfork recommended, but that’s about it. Which is a shame considering all three bands will perform rare sets this Friday,  delivering the nastiest Brooklyn Masonic Temple show since Neurosis and Mastodon plowed the place in early 2008.

Enter Albert Mudrian: the author of Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore, and the editor of Decibel magazine and its new book, Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces. Since he knows the world of blast beats, down-tuned riffage and high-pitched shrieks better than any of us, Mudrian agreed to share his favorite records from the Blackened Music Series bill, including “the greatest grindcore album ever recorded.”

Repulsion, Horrified (Necrosis, 1989)
What, did you think we were gonna choose the “Excruciation” 7-inch? Repulsion’s lone full-length effort (and, thankfully, they fully intend to keep it that way) may have been recorded nearly a quarter century ago, but its aftershocks aren’t just felt through the other bands on this bill. Literally every act that’s ever used the word “brutal” to describe their sound oughta thank Repulsion. An 18-song sprint clocking in at just under 29 minutes, Horrified leaves you simultaneously breathless and invigorated. File alongside Reign in Blood and Slaughter of the Soul as “no-brainer” Decibel Hall of Fame-inductee material.

Simply the greatest grindcore album ever recorded.


“Radiation Sickness”

Brutal Truth, Sounds of the Animal Kingdom (Relapse, 1997)
From the classic opening sample–which [singer Kevin] Sharp lifted from a 1953 Dr. Seuss film called The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T–to the hypnotic, 22-minute closing loop of “Prey,” Sounds stands as one of the most complete albums in grindcore history. It’s thematically held together by drummer Rich Hoak, who was deeply inspired by The Naked Ape and The Human Zoo author Desmond Morris, who maintained that mankind was rapidly becoming dehumanized through its use of technology.

To that end, one word best describes Sounds: primal. Whether it was Dan Lilker’s Nuclear Bass assault, Gurn’s twisted, Zappa-inspired riffs, or  Sharp’s brutish bellows–which sounded as though they could emanate from the half-primate-half-UPS man that adorns the album’s cover–Sounds seethes with a tension that took the band one step away from the oblivion the record suggested. So awesome that it doesn’t even matter that sounds like it was recorded under a stack of wet mattresses.


“Dead Smart”

Pig Destroyer, Phantom Limb (Relapse, 2007)
Message board warriors everywhere will squeal for [the 2001 LP] Prowler in the Yard, but PxDx’s third full-length is where Riffmaster General Scott Hull sliced and diced his way into our filth-caked hearts forever. The number of insanely catchy death, thrash, and grindcore riffs stuffed into the 3:30 of “Heathen Temple” alone is approximately triple the amount of memorable parts from Job for a Cowboy and Suicide Silence’s combined recorded output.

Yeah, we still love Prowler in the Yard, too, but Phantom Limb was Decibel‘s 2007 Album of the Year. Come to think of it, we ranked it six spots above PITY on our Top 30 Grindcore Albums of All Time list published earlier this year. So…you do the math.


“Girl in the Slayer Jacket”