“Nero In Metastasi”

By Derelikt Waugh

Italy’s Cripple Bastards have been fucking up eardrums for over twenty-five years. With a slew of EPs, splits, comp appearances and LPs under their belts, this deadly grind platoon is showing zero signs of slowing down, nor mellowing with age. As a matter of fact, I think they’ve upped the intensity level ten-fold with their latest slab of razor sharp hatecore, “Nero In Metastasi”. Don’t let the fact that this is their “major label debut” fool you into complacency. This is by no means a bubblegum grind album for the masses. It’s as relentlessly pummeling and precise as previous efforts, and just as disturbingly dark as an early David Lynch film. The fact that it’s a Relapse Records release simply means that Cripple Bastards have finally gotten the budget and high-end production (provided by Fredrik Nordstrom at Sweden’s Studio Fredman) that they have clearly earned and deserved over the years.

Yeah, there seems to be a lot of folks who whine and cry about grind albums that are “too polished”. Well, it doesn’t subtract one iota of raw, pissed-off emotion from the trademark Cripple Bastard machinegun delivery. You can hear everything clearly (and to these old, grizzled ears, that’s a fuckin’ good thing). There’s plenty to take in here too. In addition to all the necessary barrel-chested blasting that harkens back to Napalm Death on a coke bender, there are also some super-catchy hardcore breakdowns to give brief (albeit, still jarring) respite from the noise-addled, light speed barrage. On top of all that, Cripple Bastards manage to make their songs shockingly catchy! Most surprising of all though, is the nine minute epic “Splendore E Tenebre”, featuring industrial-tinged doom riffs that create an unsettling sense of melancholia before the fuck-all intensity fest that the song becomes. This song (and album, for that matter) might be Cripple Bastards most accomplished, crushing effort to date. Trust me, fiends. If you’re a noise-damaged grind freak like me, you most definitely need this band in your worthless, insignificant life!