originally written by Chris McDonald
Imagine, if you will, a band that epitomizes everything sleek, modern, and forward-thinking about underground metal music. A band akin to Decrepit Birth, Angra, or Wintersun perhaps. An outfit whose pristine production values, impenetrable lyrical pretensions, impossibly-perfect musicianship and wide variety of stylistic influences are so technically flawless and intellectually qualified that they could even convince some of the “normies” of their excellence and of the legitimacy of metal as an art form. Now picture the exact opposite of this imaginary band, and you have Insect Warfare.
This “full-length” debut represents everything that is simultaneously glorious and clichéd about the grindcore genre. Ushering in twenty songs in less than twenty-three minutes, World Extermination is a merciless throwback to the most barbaric, primitive strains of late 80’s/early 90’s grind. The band draws from the out-of-control velocity of early Napalm Death, the death metal leanings of Brutal Truth, and the ferocious precision of Rotten Sound to produce what is perhaps the ultimate “throwback” style of grind; one-dimensional, unforgiving, but technically sound and undeniably powerful. While they’ll sometimes tease you with the odd double-kick groove or crushing mid-tempo, the vast majority of the material here is pure blast-and-grunt at its finest, with extremely tight percussion and a dark, sludgy guitar tone. It tends to go by like one long blur of indistinct noise on the first couple of listens, and it’s hard to argue that a number of the riffs here are completely interchangeable. But World Extermination, like all great grind albums, gradually reveals moments of carefully calculated catchiness hidden beneath the maelstrom, like the punishing groove of “Self Termination,” the punky thrash of “Manipulator,” or the Entombed-influenced intro of “Hydrophobia,” that ultimately compel you to keep putting the disc back in even when you can barely recall what you just listened to afterwards. The crisp production further aids the intensity of the songs, turning what could easily be an album’s worth of muddy blasting into a savage bedlam of sound.
Insect Warfare (who are now defunct) weren’t doing anything new with this album, but this was nevertheless a band that was extremely talented at channeling the raw spirit of old-school grindcore into a modern format, and their sound is visceral and energizing enough to compensate for the admittedly narrow confines of their songwriting. The people who don’t get into grind will obviously find nothing worthwhile about this, but for all the crusty old genre purists out there, World Extermination is a must-own.