LOCK UP – “The Dregs of Hades”

by Thor

All-star grindcore collective LOCK UP is back like Voltron to save us mortal humans from music that sucks with their blistering new album “The Dregs of Hades.” Holy shit, Wormheads….

So, let me cut to the chase and state here that this album is outstanding. If you like really fast, punk-infused grind, here you go. If you like it when heavy grooves drop out of the sky like fuckin’ boulders—once again, here you go. Clean, punchy production? Yep. To put it in scientific terms: LOCK UP’s “The Dregs of Hell” is the shit.

LOCK UP started about a quarter-century ago as another project of NAPALM DEATH’s Shane Embury and it’s always been comprised of some of the very best extreme/underground musicians on the planet. This current lineup is no exception, showcasing the deadly sticksmanship of new drummer Adam Jarvis (FULGORA, MISERY INDEX, PIG DESTROYER, SCOUR), in addition to longtime members Tomas Lindberg (AT THE GATES, SIGN OF CAIN, THE LURKING FEAR) and Kevin Sharp (VENOMOUS CONCEPT, ex-BRUTAL TRUTH) on vocals, Anton Reisenegger (BRUJERIA, CRIMINAL, METAL AGAINST CORONAVIRUS, PENTAGRAM CHILE) on guitar, and Embury on the bass.

Sonically, “The Dregs of Hades” checks all the boxes for how a modern metal/hardcore/grindcore album should sound. It’s heavy, punchy, clean, and aggressive. If you’re a stereo nerd, it will violently stuff your ears full of candy. Musically, it rips through blazing-fast blast-beat and d-beat passages that are broken up by well-timed grooves that feel a little darker and less punk and a little more like heavy-as-all-fuck OSDM. By and large, every song is dynamic in not just tempo, but also style and vibe, evoking the best emotions that hardcore, death metal, and punk can yank out of us.

LOCK UP’s “The Dregs of Hades” is among the standard-bearers for grindcore in the year 2021.